WLOX – ‘It’s going to affect everybody personally,’ warn lawmakers about future budget cuts

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) – “It is a grim reality. And the face of government, the shape of government I believe, is going to have to change if we’re going to survive,” said Sen. Billy Hewes.

Senator Hewes called the governor’s proposal to slash $715 million from the state budget is both ambitious and disturbing. Yet, he said every state agency has to be considered during this budget crisis.

“There are no easy answers,” Hewes said. “There are going to be a lot of people upset, because it’s going to affect everybody personally.”

On Wednesday, Hewes and six other Mississippi lawmakers discussed the budget woes during Leadership Gulf Coast Government Day at USM in Long Beach. They face the challenge of an expected $700 million shortfall next year and possibly $1.2 billion the following year, when federal stimulus money comes to a halt.