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June 27, 2009

STATEMENT OF GOVERNOR BARBOUR ON CALL FOR SPECIAL SESSION

Governor Haley Barbour has called for a Special Session to begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 28, 2009. A statement from Governor Barbour follows:

“Yesterday the House and Senate budget negotiators and my office agreed on a General Fund (and equivalents) budget for Fiscal Year 2010 and on closing out FY 2009 for all areas except Medicaid. “I had hoped we could come to an agreement on Medicaid, but we continue to be at an impasse.

“I don’t want Medicaid to keep other departments and agencies unfunded because of the Medicaid issues, so I have advised the House and Senate that I will call a Special Session for everything except Medicaid.

“Today, I am issuing the Call for a Special Session of the Legislature to begin at 2 p.m., Sunday, June 28, 2009, at the New Capitol. While I regret the need to call the Legislature in on Sunday, everyone should agree we have an ox in the ditch.

“The initial Call will include those bills necessary to fund the closing of the FY 2009 budget and aggregation of funds necessary to fund all appropriations in FY 2010, except Medicaid. Medicaid will be excluded from the Call, as there is no agreement among the House, Senate, and Governor on funding or preventing deficits in Medicaid at this time. If and when such an agreement is reached, Medicaid issues will be added; or, if this Session has ended, a new Special Session will be called.

“A small number of minor but important issues will also be included in the initial Call. An example is a swap of certain land to benefit Jackson State University and Blackburn Middle School in Jackson.

“Further, appropriations for departments and agencies that receive only special funds will be included in the initial Call. The Mississippi Department of Transportation is an example.

“After all the bills necessary to fund FY 2009 deficits and FY 2010 appropriations are passed, I will expand the Call or issue a second Call to include all General Fund and General Fund Equivalent appropriations, except Medicaid. Medicaid will be excluded from any Call until an agreement is reached on its funding, expenditures, and methods of preventing Medicaid deficits, as is required by law.”