The Mississippi Public Service Commission is furloughing most of its 73 employees until the agency has a budget.
Commission chairman Lynn Posey and two commission members told The Associated Press that about a dozen employees will keep working, including six investigators.
Commissioners were interviewed as they were preparing to notify staff members about the furloughs.
“We’re now down to protecting rate payers with spit balls,” commissioner Brandon Presley said.
Legislators failed to pass a PSC budget before the fiscal year started Wednesday. The agency’s funding didn’t pass because of a dispute about commissioners’ requests for additional staff members. House Democrats supported the request, but Senate Republicans opposed it.