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Barbour unveils his budget recommendations

JACKSON — Gov. Haley Barbour yesterday outlined a revised executive budget for FY 2011 that calls for agency directors to find efficiencies in spending and trims most agencies 12 to 17 percent while funding public schools at near peak levels.

The $5.5-billion FY 2011 Modified Budget Recommendation urges responsible spending for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, as the state continues to deal with the effects of the global recession.

“This budget forces everyone in government to take a good look at programs and make sure taxpayers are getting the best service for their money,” Barbour said.

In the governor’s Modified Budget Recommendation, most agency budgets are reduced by a range of 12-to-17 percent below FY 2010 appropriated levels, with a few agencies seeing smaller reductions. For example, the Highway Patrol will see an 8 percent cut in funding. All state agencies are asked to prioritize their needs.

Total K-12 spending (from federal, state and local sources) will be $4.574 billion, less than 1.3 percent below peak spending.

“I cannot reiterate enough the importance of budgeting for next year with FY 2012 in mind,” Barbour said. “Without federal stimulus funds to offset some of our budget troubles, we are facing severe cuts for all agencies. By planning ahead, we can ease the pain of budget reductions while preparing to offer the same level of service Mississippians expect.”

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