Barbour, lawmakers meet privately about budget

Published 9:02 pm Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour met privately with top lawmakers Wednesday to discuss the state budget.

Barbour is revising his spending suggestions for the year beginning July 1. His spokesman, Dan Turner, says Barbour hasn’t decided when to publicly release the new plan.

Legislators have a long history of ignoring governors’ budget recommendations.

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The full House and Senate return to the Capitol in May or June to finish the budget. Officials are studying how the federal stimulus package will affect Mississippi.

Barbour says his budget is based on the assumption that legislators will approve a hospital tax to help pay for Medicaid and that they’ll set a cigarette excise tax of 60 cents a pack, up from the current 18 cents.