The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, 2/18/9

Legislators of both parties and Gov. Haley Barbour seem to agree that the massive federal stimulus package signed into law by President Barack Obama on Tuesday will alleviate some of the budget woes they are facing.

But they said they still are trying to ascertain the exact impact the package will have on Mississippi.

“We’re trying to get a definitive answer on what is available and when it is available,” said Dan Turner, a spokesman for Republican Gov. Haley Barbour.

Turner said the governor’s office was doing the same thing legislative budget leaders are doing – “muddling through it” to see what is available.

The White House announced Tuesday that the stimulus would mean about 30,000 jobs for Mississippi, with 7,900 in the 1st Congressional District. And the state’s schools are expected to get $250 million from the stimulus over the next two years.

Both House Appropriations Committee Chairman Johnny Stringer, D-Montrose, and Senate Appropriations Chairman Alan Nunnelee, R-Tupelo, said they believe federal money will be available to alleviate budget cuts Barbour made earlier this year to offset declining tax collections.