NOW IT’S the Legislature’s turn.
Gov. Haley Barbour has cut about all governors are allowed to cut from the state budget, whacking more than $226 million since the fiscal year began in July. State law prohibits governors from cutting agency budgets more than 5 percent without approval from the Legislature.
With state revenues running almost $137 million below estimates, Gov. Barbour has imposed 5 percent cutbacks on most agencies and programs. If current economic trends continue, the budget will have to be reduced by another $160 million by the end of the fiscal year.
State revenues have been coming in below official estimates for more than a year. Those optimistic projections have magnified the impact of the recession and made budget management more difficult for the governor and state agency chiefs.