Jim Hood vs. Haley Barbour on budget

As top Mississippi lawmakers continued wrangling Thursday over the unfinished state budget, the Republican governor and Democratic attorney general sharply disagreed about what happens if there’s still no spending plan when the fiscal year begins next week.

Gov. Haley Barbour said he can run government by executive order. Attorney General Jim Hood said that’s true for some agencies, but not all. Hood said Medicaid patients are at risk of losing critical services, including prescription coverage.

“Somebody’s going to die … if he lets this thing keep going in the direction it’s going,” Hood said, criticizing Barbour’s decision to reject a tentative budget deal earlier this week.

Hood said while some “core functions” such as prisons, public schools and mental health facilities could operate under executive order, other services would have to stop unless a judge issues an order to keep them going.

For example, Hood said that without a court order, state troopers could be forced stay off the roads because the Department of Public Safety is not explicitly mentioned in the state constitution.

AP
6/25/9