Will Barbour Veto Funding Restoration Bill?
It looks the governor and the legislature are about to square off as the Senate OK’d a bill to restore $79 million in cuts Haley Barbour had to make midyear as revenues were sharply below expectations for the 2010 budget.
Four Republicans joined 22 Democrats in a vote to concur with a bill that recently passed the House which will use $69 million in tobacco settlement funds and $10 million from two other smaller sources of one time money.
It looks like this bill would put $33.9 million toward the Mississippi Adequate Education Program. Barbour, however, doesn’t like the fact that the bill would only restore $1 million in cuts to the Department of Corrections. The House bill set aside nothing for Corrections, something Barbour called irresponsible.
According to the Clarion-Ledger, Barbour had previously said he would veto this bill. I do not believe he has issued a statement on this bill yet.
Update: Barbour confirms via a statement that he will veto this bill.
The Democrats are ready to attack Republicans and run on this issue in 2011, which they clearly feel they have the upper hand on. There is no doubt this issue- or one like it- will still be around when voters go to the polls. Besides this battle about FY2010 funds, we will also have FY2011 and FY2012 funding to wrangle with before November, 2011.