JACKSON — The Mississippi Senate has upheld Gov. Haley Barbour’s veto of a bill that attempted to restore more than one-fifth of the money he has cut from the state budget.
Twenty-one senators sided with the governor and 30 voted to override the veto.
An override would’ve taken a two-thirds majority, or 34 votes.
Barbour has cut $458.5 million from what started last July as a nearly $6 billion budget. The bill he vetoed would’ve put $79 million back into state programs.
The Republican governor says too much of the restoration would’ve gone to education and not enough to other programs, including prisons.
House and Senate negotiators are working on a different plan to restore some money before the fiscal year ends June 30.
“I am pleased the Senate has voted to sustain my veto of Senate Bill 2688, and hope the entire Legislature will now move to resolve this issue,” Barbour said. “We have the resources to restore funding to our priorities this year, including law enforcement and corrections; such a funding restoration bill is already in a conference committee. It’s critical that we put this fiscal year behind us because we have major challenges and tough decisions to make on the state budget for next year. I will continue working with the Legislature in that effort.”