I’ve spoken previously of my jealousy of Indiana for having a Governor like Mitch Daniels that can grow his economy and keep his state’s budget in check in the middle of a recession.
Well, now I’m envious of Mississippi.
Yesterday, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour submitted his budget to his state legislature. In a press release and letter to the legislators, Barbour highlighted the difficulties facing his state in crafting a budget. He outlined challenges that sounded awfully familiar to what Ohio faces now, particularly when it comes to stimulus funds that will no longer be available down the road.
Governor Haley Barbour today proposed a 12 percent budget reduction for most state agencies and called for the merger of some state agencies, universities and school districts in his Executive Budget Recommendation for Fiscal Year 2011.
The $5.5 billion state budget includes $370 million in stimulus funds that will cease after the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1. Governor Barbour is required by state law to submit a budget to the Legislature.
“About this time last year, state revenues started showing the effects of the recession,” Governor said. “What we’re seeing now is the full brunt of a soft economy, and state government must react accordingly. Clearly, business as usual won’t keep essential services operating, and it won’t work for the taxpayers. This budget crisis is real, and we cannot delay making difficult, long-term budget decisions.
Can you imagine what is must be like to have a Governor that recognizes the challenge that the future holds and has the courage to do what’s necessary to find a solution?