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May 14, 2010

GOVERNOR BARBOUR VETOES PORTION OF
SENATE BILL 3135

Governor Haley Barbour today vetoed a portion of Senate Bill 3135 that would have limited the ability of the Public Safety Commissioner to effectively manage the agency’s budget during this tough economic cycle.

Governor Barbour’s veto removed a mandate requiring the Department of Public Safety to pay 11 hours of compensatory time to sworn officers with the rank of lieutenant and above. The veto will not halt plans for officers to receive this pay in Fiscal Year 2011.

“Mandating additional payments, without providing additional general funds, unfairly ties the Commissioner’s hands, and is contrary to good budgetary practice,” Governor Barbour said. “During a time of severely declining revenue, agency heads need the flexibility to spend their limited funds as they believe necessary to carry out the mission of their agencies.” 

By requiring the compensatory payment, the Public Safety Commissioner would have few options if budget woes continue and spending cuts are needed in FY 2011. The mandate would likely result in program cuts or furloughs for the department if state revenues continue to fall short of expectations.

To read the veto message, click here.