The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 2/24/9

House Speaker Billy McCoy of Rienzi and members of his Democratic leadership team said Monday that it would be a mistake for Gov. Haley Barbour to turn down any of the federal stimulus funds.

“I for one believe we should access every dollar possible,” McCoy said in a prepared statement. “We need this nation’s resources to help solve our state and local problems. They are people problems which know no borders.”

Barbour was among the Republican governors who made news this weekend by saying they would turn down some of the money.

At a weekend gathering of governors in Washington, Barbour said he will reject money to increase unemployment compensation benefits. The reason, he said, is because the state would be required to increase the tax on employers to continue the benefits after the federal stimulus funds are gone.

“We want more jobs. You don’t get more jobs by putting an extra tax on creating jobs,” Barbour said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” The governor is also scheduled to discuss the stimulus this morning at 8 on Fox News.