New special session could cost $60,000 more than the $141,000 for 1st session

Disagreement over the size of the Public Service Commission’s staff left it as the only state agency unfunded as the fiscal year began Wednesday.

State officials say they expect the issue will be resolved in the coming days, but holding another special session likely will cost Mississippi taxpayers thousands of dollars.

The Legislature ended a three-day special session at midnight Tuesday and completed everything in the $6 billion state budget except the PSC’s spending plan.

Gov. Haley Barbour, however, used his partial veto authority to eliminate parts of seven appropriations bills. Among the sections vetoed were a provision to pull $7 million from the state’s “rainy day” fund to support the community mental health centers and $100,000 from the fund for the Mississippi Technology Alliance.

Barbour also vetoed a section that took away the Public Safety commissioner’s authority to handle overtime pay for troopers.

The special session cost taxpayers about $141,000. A one-day session for the PSC budget could tack on nearly $60,000 more.

Clarion-Ledger
7/2/9