The Clarion-Ledger, 2/5/9

A multimillion dollar shortfall in Mississippi’s current budget is growing, up nearly $26 million from last month, but state agencies don’t appear to be in imminent danger of further cuts.

Gov. Haley Barbour and his staff “continue to monitor the tax receipts with an eye on the budget,” Barbour spokesman Dan Turner said Wednesday. “At this time, we don’t contemplate needing to make any further budget cuts.”

Collections for the general fund in January were $25.5 million, or 6.5 percent, below what was expected. The state budget is $90.8 million below estimates with five months left to go in the current fiscal year, according to a legislative budget report issued this week.

Last month, revenues were $65 million below the projections, and economic experts are becoming more pessimistic about the future.