Senator Merle Flowers response to Governor Barbour’s State of State Address

Governor Haley Barbour delivered his 8th and final State of the State address as Governor to a packed joint legislative assembly Tuesday evening. Barbour focused on fiscal budgetary constraint, job creation, and state challenges of the national recession.

“We are facing a $634 million structural deficit this year,” said Senator Merle Flowers (R-Olive Branch). “I agree with Governor Barbour that balancing our state budget is paramount, and we should do so without raising anybody’s taxes. It’s important that we reduce spending and not saddle our children and grandchildren with a mountain of debt,” said Flowers.

“Governor Barbour has been a great leader for Mississippi in job recruitment worldwide, with successes such as Toyota, American Eurocopter, and Soladigm. Despite enduring the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, there are still bright spots on the horizon in Desoto County for job growth such as the new Olive Branch Hospital that will employ over 500 people. We worked very hard for many years and fought through bureaucratic red tape, but we are on the cusp of breaking ground for our new hospital, and it couldn’t come at a better time,” said Flowers.

Barbour’s Executive Budget proposed level funding for K-12 public education and noted they are slated to receive $4.3 billion in total funding this year. Barbour plans to streamline state agencies, better manage health care costs, assist small business owners, adequately fund state prisons, initiate a new state trooper school, and retain $185 million in the state rainy day fund.

Merle Flowers E-mail
1/12/10