Looking for S-A-V-I-N-G-S!

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2010 at 9:42 am

There are many in Mississippi who are calling for the Legislature to give Governor Barbour more flexibility in budget cuts. The largest state agency heads are also requesting the Legislature to grant them “lump sum budget authority and the flexibility to better manage personnel needs in order to limit potential job cuts by removing the bureaucratic constraints of the State Personnel Board.” The House passed a bill to limit the Governor’s budget authority, which counters a bill passed by the Senate that would grant the Governor “emergency” powers for a year to cut any agency up to 10 percent. House Bill 392 calls for the Governor to spend down rainy day funds and limits the budget cuts to $347 million.

Now Legislators are looking to higher education for significant savings. Elizabeth Crisp of the Clarionledger said that “Lawmakers introduced a slew of university-related bills before this week’s deadline for general bills and constitutional amendments. Many are attempts to cut costs or increase revenues for the eight public universities.” Among these bills include merging Alcorn State University and Mississippi Valley State University with Jackson State as well as Mississippi University for Women with Mississippi State. Rep. Credell Calhoun of Jackson wants “to see (the merger proposal) die before it even makes it to the House.” The Senate Universities and Colleges committee is scheduled to hold a January 28 hearing to discuss how to preserve the state’s higher education system, which also will include discussions on potential mergers.

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