Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant seeks funding for his staff

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is requesting an additional $355,531 to cover expenses for his staff through June 30, the final day of the current budget year.

He’s also seeking $119,000 to pay for workers at the Governor’s Mansion for 18 months, to replace the free labor previously provided by prisoners. Bryant canceled the mansion’s inmate trusty program soon after he took office Jan. 10.

Bryant’s staff tells The Associated Press on Tuesday that his predecessor, fellow Republican Haley Barbour, spent more than half the yearly budget for the governor’s staff before he departed. The state fiscal year started July 1, and Bryant’s staff says Barbour paid his staffers for accumulated leave time and other expenses.