Barbour has made his point. It is indeed shocking that the state could be facing a $715 million budget shortfall in the next fiscal year and a potential $1.2 billion hole for the 2012 fiscal year. Whatever course is taken to balance the budget will not be easy.
Barbour proposed the merger of Mississippi Valley State University and Alcorn State into Jackson State and Mississippi University for Women into Mississippi State. He called for consolidating the state’s 152 school districts into about 100. He wants to change the governance of community colleges. He called for closing major mental health facilities. There are proposals to consolidate agencies. He even took on the powerful Mississippi Department of Transportation, moving enforcement duties to the Department of Public Safety.
Some of these items have been long discussed, but avoided because of political volatility.