HA – Miss. Legislators shouldn’t be above the law

NOTES AND thoughts… When Gov. Haley Barbour ordered another $40.6 million in budget cuts last week, there was one interesting paragraph he included in the press release announcing the cut.

It read: “The budget reduction ordered today means nearly every state government account, except those exempt by statute, have been cut by almost 9.5 percent. This includes the budgets for the Governor’s Mansion and Governor’s Office. The Legislature’s budget has not been reduced, as it has exempted itself from being subjected to budget cuts.”

It was a clear but subtle shot to the 174 lawmakers that there should be few sacred cows. And the Legislature shouldn’t be one of them.

Barbour’s right. And, by the way, the governor’s budget has been cut by 9.5 percent. The office budget has been cut by almost $212,000 and the mansion budget by $64,422.

When school districts are slashing their costs and state and municipal budgets are tightening their belts, why has the Legislature exempted itself?

It may make sense to those 174 lawmakers, but it doesn’t to most Mississippians.

But this isn’t the only law from which the legislators have exempted themselves.

Hattiesburg American
3/22/10