State Lawmakers Work Around Not Having Stimulus Funds for 2012 Budget

State lawmakers say the Fiscal Year 2012 budget is facing a $400 million shortfall since Congress did not approve a stimulus package for next year. The state has received nearly $700 million in federal stimulus funds so far.

Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant says the Budget Committee has been meeting all this week to see how lawmakers will make up for the loss. Bryant says several departments will face cutbacks including education and health care. He does not want to cut public safety or the National Guard budget. He also say lawmakers will have to dig into various funds to lessen the impact.

Representative Steve Holland (D-16) agrees cutbacks has to be made. But he hopes Governor Haley Barbour will not be stingy in borrowing money from other funds.