“As we approached the 2009 legislative session, all of us recognized the slowing economy would have a depressing effect on the state budget.
Today’s action by the Revenue Estimating Committee again confirms that concern.

“Going into the session, it was projected that Fiscal Year 2009 general fund revenue would fall $200 million short of expectations; today, we learned that shortfall is $301 million. For Fiscal Year 2010, the projected shortfall is $402 million. In both years a shortfall in Education Enhancement Funds will make these overall numbers even worse, and it is very likely that revenue will go down in Fiscal Year 2011, too.

“In the spirit of honest budgeting, it is important for legislators and the people of Mississippi to know that the more than $1 billion we expect to receive from the federal stimulus through Fiscal Year 2011 will not cover the shortfalls in the state budget. To compound the problem, Mississippi will have less state revenue in the immediate future. In the face of these downwardly-revised estimates it is critical that our rainy day fund last four years so we can properly fund such fundamental state government services as education and health care.

“I am receptive to the idea of a legislative recess as we await guidance from the federal government on how the stimulus money must be spent. I will continue working with the Legislature to make the best possible budget decisions from a string of ugly options.”

Governor Haley Barbour Press Release
3/20/9