The Clarion-Ledger, 2/19/8

Senate Bill 2912 passed the Appropriations Committee this afternoon, putting more than $213 million back into the general fund to use for the fiscal 2009 budget.

The bill also would take $82.5 million from the $268 million left in the state’s hurricane reserve fund to put in the rainy day fund instead, a move backed by Republican Gov. Haley Barbour.

There was no opposition in a voice vote.

Appropriations Chairman Alan Nunnelee said until the committee “deals with the deposit side, we cannot start writing checks.”

“We could have begun working on the (fiscal) ’09 budget we had, but I assure you, it wouldn’t have been one you wanted to vote for,” said Nunnelee, R-Tupelo. “We have to come up with more money.”