SALTER – All eyes now on the legislative budget

he Legislative Black Caucus came out against Barbour’s university merger plan even before it hit the table officially. House Universities and Colleges Committee Chairman Kelvin Buck, D-Holly Springs, pronounced that portion of the budget plan dead-on-arrival at his committee.

The state employee union’s leader has already fired a shot across the bow of Barbour and the Legislature and is threatening litigation. Mississippi University for Women alums and the student bodies of the state’s historically black universities are up in arms.

Even some Republicans loyal to Barbour say that many of his budget recommendations are good, thoughtful and even courageous proposals – but that many don’t have any practical political chance of survival.

At this juncture, all eyes turn to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. That group – charged with producing the legislative budget recommendation (which is to say, the real budget) – is slated to meet again next on Dec. 7 and to craft a budget strategy of its own.

Nov. 27, 2009