The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 3/21/9

The economic downturn is playing havoc with the state budget.

As a result of the slumping economy, the Legislature and Gov. Haley Barbour will have $628 million less to budget in the coming days.

Friday morning the Legislative Budget Committee, which includes Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, and Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, who presides over the Senate, met and lowered the revenue estimate for the rest of this fiscal year and for the following fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The committee acted on a recommendation from the state’s financial experts, including state Economist Phil Pepper and Treasurer Tate Reeves.

The Budget Committee’s actions could lead to cuts for the current fiscal year and for the following year, though federal stimulus funds will lessen the impact of cuts, especially in education and Medicaid.