CONTACT: Pete Smith (601) 359.3150 or (601) 720.8733 or
Laura Hipp (601) 576-2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: Friday, Oct. 10, 2008
GOVERNOR BARBOUR PREPARING FOR TRIM BUDGET
Wall Street woes, lower revenues spur need for conservative spending
(JACKSON, Mississippi)— Governor Haley Barbour asked legislators and state agency directors to find ways to cut spending this year and in Fiscal Year 2010 as a result of lower tax collections during the current economic crisis.
“Just as Mississippi families and businesses are revising their budgets and looking for ways to save money, we in state government must tighten our belts, too,” Governor Haley Barbour said. “High fuel costs and lower-than-expected tax collections mean we must further control our spending.”
General fund revenues for the first quarter of the current fiscal year were $23.8 million, or 2.11 percent, below the estimate. Mississippi could miss its revenue estimate by more than $100 million for Fiscal Year 2009, which ends June 30. Governor Barbour requested agencies find ways to trim budgets 2 percent for the current fiscal year and further reduce spending by 4 percent for next year.
Mississippi is not immune to the global credit crunch and downturn in the housing market. Fortunately, prudent budgeting since 2004 has positioned the state well financially and restored the Rainy Day Fund. However in lean times, protecting the state’s savings account becomes even more crucial. Steps must be taken to guard the state’s financial solvency and credit rating.