Senate Appropriations Committee adopts bill giving Barbour more budget power

“I don’t think it’s any secret to anybody that our state is in some difficult budget times,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, said.

On Monday, the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted a bill that would give Barbour what he’s asked for – the power to cut up to 10 percent from agencies’ budgets without going through the Legislature.

Senate Bill 2495 now will go to the full Senate before it moves to the Democrat-controlled House, where it likely will face opposition.

Last week, House leaders proposed a separate measure – which they dubbed a compromise – that would allow Barbour to exempt certain areas and make cuts up to 10 percent across agencies. Those cuts would have to be made to all areas of government evenly, though.