Lawmakers question Dept. of Public Safety budget

Key lawmakers grew frustrated Wednesday while questioning Department of Public Safety on how it’s been spending money and why it’s requesting a $32-million, or 46-percent, state budget increase for next year.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said it appears extra money the Legislature gave the agency this year didn’t make it to the Highway Patrol troopers they thought they were helping, but instead went to pay raises and other “diversions.”

“When (DPS was) asking the Legislature to cover a $3 million deficit this year, it was giving pay raises to 319 employees,” Reeves said. “… We gave DPS $1.9 million for new automobiles they said they needed. They spent about $500,000, bought 14 or 15 cars, none of which made it to troopers on the road.”

Clarion Ledger