Barbour: Some agencies can go on without budget

JACKSON — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says he has executive authority to keep “critical” agencies operating if there’s no state budget when the new fiscal year begins next week.

Barbour’s comments came Tuesday, a day after he rejected a budget compromise offered by House and Senate negotiators and refused to call lawmakers back for a special session.

Democratic Rep. Robert Johnson, who’s also an attorney, says the Republican governor may have the wrong interpretation of the state Constitution.

Johnson says the constitution states that even without a budget, the state must continue to provide “essential services.” He said court action would be required for that to happen.

The Associated Press

Click video to hear audio