Doug Davis – “[Barbour’s] well aware of where we are” on budget

JACKSON — Talks over Mississippi’s $5.55 billion budget proposal for next year ground to a halt Tuesday after House and Senate negotiators received word that Gov. Haley Barbour wants another $180 million worth of spending cutbacks.

Barbour said the preliminary numbers adopted by negotiators would spend $58 million more in the 2012 fiscal year than is being spent this year, would leave only $155 million in reserves, and would spend more than $507 million in non-recurring money on expenses that occur year after year.

Barbour, a potential Republican presidential candidate, was in Nevada on Tuesday.

He summoned the Legislature’s budget negotiators, including Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Doug Davis, R-Hernando, to meet with him this morning to discuss spending for the 2012 budget year that begins July 1.

Davis said he has been in touch with Barbour about budget talks as he travels around the country.

“He’s well aware of where we are,” Davis said.

That means Barbour knows how close Senate and House negotiators are to reaching a budget agreement.

Commercial Appeal