Barbour Pens Letter To Bryant, McCoy Regarding Agency Cuts
As tax collections continue to lag behind earlier predictions, Haley Barbour wrote a letter to Lt. Gov. Bryant and Speaker McCoy asking the legislature to increase the governor’s ability to make agency cuts.
Here is the letter Barbour sent to Bryant and McCoy
For the month of December, tax collections missed estimates by $41 million- more than ten percent off the mark. This will be the 16th consecutive month that collections lagged behind predictions.
Because of this, Barbour has ordered several agency cuts of five percent- which is the maximum level allowed before all agencies see cuts. Barbour is requesting that legislature increase that level to ten percent.
On the surface, I would say no way that the House agrees to this. But- would they rather be the ones making the cuts or looking for ways to increase revenue? Yes, we will hear calls of power grab from the governor’s opponents, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they reluctantly agree to Barbour’s request.
Update: The Clarion-Ledger has a short response from McCoy, but a response nonetheless. He said he will meet with lawmakers on Monday and added “we’ve all got to work together.” In the past when McCoy was opposed to something- the university mergers for example- he came out and said it without holding back. Now, he is saying he doesn’t want to speculate on if the request will be approved. A very mild tone from the Speaker in my opinion.