JACKSON — Gov. Haley Barbour says a bill that has passed the U.S. Senate aimed at education, jobs and Medicaid assistance will cost the state up to $100 million and force a retooling of the state budget.
“The bill as passed the Senate will force Mississippi to rewrite its current year (FY11) budget,” Barbour wrote in a statement. “Preliminary estimates of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration show that we will now have to spend between $50-100 million of state funds — funds that must be taken away from public safety, human services, mental health and other state priorities and given to education — in order for an additional $98 million of federal funds to be granted to education. There is no justification for the federal government hijacking state budgets, but that is exactly what Congress has done. “