When proposing his $5.5 billion state budget last week that includes 5.5 percent cuts for most agencies, Gov. Phil Bryant said he’d start with his own budget, cutting his office by 6.5 percent and selling the state’s Cessna Citation jet.
The jet, bought during Gov. Haley Barbour’s administration, has been a source of political debate for years. Barbour was asked if his extensive use of the jet included political trips for the national Republican Party or his erstwhile presidential aspirations. Democratic lawmakers attempted to sell it a couple of times.
Bryant said he was not trying to make a political statement, but he can do without the jet. He said he can get by using the state’s Beechcraft King Air turboprop plane, flying commercial or hitching a ride on business-owned jets. He said the state stands to get about $2 million for the sale, and save more than $500,000 a year in expenses.