Mississippi legislator calls budget ‘deliberate wreckage’

“We won’t know until the bitter end,” said David Baria, a Democrat from Bay St. Louis and chairman of the legislature’s Democratic Caucus.

Mississippi’s budget faces major reductions this year, between the legislature’s failure to come up with a bond bill – meaning the state can’t borrow money – and a $170 million cut from the governor.

While the House – usually the rowdier chamber – passed its bills without much ado, senators let their displeasure show as the night went on.

“This is not Hurricane Katrina – this is deliberate wreckage we have brought on ourselves,” said Sen. David Blount, a Democrat from Jackson, as the Senate debated a budget cut to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Addressing his Republican colleagues, he added: “You ran on cutting government. Why aren’t you all jumping up and down to cut this?”