Gov. Haley Barbour claims he will veto a bill the Mississippi Senate passed today that would restore funding to offset cuts he made to state agencies. "This bill spends too much, burns too much of our reserves, and fails to adequately address Corrections, where we still face the possibility of turning criminals loose due to the lack of funding. I expect the bill to reach my desknext week, and I will veto it and send it back to the Legislature," Barbour said in a statement.
Today, the Senate voted 26-22 to concur with an amendment the House approved last week, rolling back cuts to some aspects of the state's budget that Gov. Haley Barbour advocates cutting.
"A lot of Republicans, as well as conservative Democrats, are feeling the pressure back home to restore some of these cuts," said Sen. John Horhn, D-Jackson, who was not present at the vote. "They're hearing that the state is suffering irreparable harm, especially in terms of education, if they don't do something to restore the money. You can only cut so much before doing serious damage."
The amendment to Senate Bill 2688 takes almost $70 million from the state's historic 1999 tobacco settlement and other funds and redistributes it to the Mississippi Adequate Education Program--a formula that steers state money to low-revenue school districts. The amendment also steers extra money to the State Tax Commission and the Department of Mental Health, which is reeling from budget cuts this year.
"We're disappointed that anyone would oppose this agreement," said Nancy Loome, director of education-lobbying group The Parents' Campaign. "It's a wonderful compromise between the House and Senate position on budget problems. It's halfway between the two in terms of the total amount of money restored. It's hard to imagine why anyone would vote against it."
Both the House and Senate will have to mount a veto-override to pursue the compromise, but the Barbour-friendly Senate may have a difficult time gathering enough votes for the endeavor.
"We hope that some of the senators who voted against concurrence will help us override that veto," Loome said. "We're hearing from scores of people who are terribly frustrated with their senators. They feel they're not being heard and that their representatives are out of touch with their communities. It's important they have legislators who understand the importance of strong public schools."
That would be unfortunate Baquan, I am really curious who the Republicans will field as their candidate for 2012 but it's a long way off yet.
I think that you can only blame the Bush Administration for so much and then it just starts looking like you are making excuses for failed policy. Bush had a $600 Billion dollar budget deficit plus the $700 Billon from TARP but $500 Billion of that has been repaid. So the former administration left an $800 Billion Dollar hole in the budget. No one can deny that it is the Obama Administration and the Democrat congress who have almost doubled that in one year. Don't blame the Republicans because Democrats are making them look like rank amateurs in the deficit spending arena. And just saying -Well, the Republicans did it too- is no justification for proceeding with a failed policy. If they did it and it failed why do we want to keep doing something that has been shown is a bad idea? Judging from the Polls we haven't forgotten that the incumbents, all of them, are to blame for what they have done or chose not to do. It is a tough time right now if you are trying to get re-elected. I think most people are just plain sick of the Republicans blaming the Democrats and vice versa. I think most people just want the problems fixed and government spending brought under control and they don't really care who does it.