From: Rep. Mark Baker (R., Brandon), Leader, Mississippi House Republican Conference

Subject: Press Release on Mississippi Budget

There has been some confusion about the positions of various parties in the current impasse over the state budget. At the present time the regular session for 2009 has ended and no budget was passed. Thus, there is NO “House Position” on the budget. Speaker Billy McCoy (D., Rienzi) has hand picked negotiators to represent his position and perhaps the positions of other Democrat leaders in the House.

We in the Republican Conference were not allowed to be part of the development of the House proposals. Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant appointed two Republicans and one Democrat to his conference team. Speaker Billy McCoy ignored the Republicans in choosing his conference team. It would seem that if Speaker McCoy truly wanted to build a concensus for the budget he would at least have input from a group that makes up 49 members of the 122 member House.