Barbour asks agencies for budget savings plans

JACKSON — Gov. Haley Barbour has asked state agency leaders to provide cost-savings plans for the budget year that begins July 1.

Barbour said Tuesday in a news release that fiscal year 2012 is expected to have a shortfall of at least $400 million because federal stimulus money will run out and the economy is making a slow recovery.

Barbour has given agencies until Nov. 1 to present plans on how they can operate with state funding that’s 15 percent below the current budget year.

The governor says the agencies can suggest eliminating or merging programs. The governor’s request comes weeks after agencies presented their budget plans for fiscal year 2012. Many of the agencies had sought a funding increase.

The Associated Press