Democratic reps: Barbour budget cuts too deep

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Top lawmakers tell The Associated Press that Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour plans to cut 8.1 percent from the budgets of most state agencies.

An exception would be Medicaid, which would be cut 6.2 percent.

House budget writers Johnny Stringer and Cecil Brown, both Democrats, say the Republican governor is taking too much money out of the $6 billion budget.

Barbour cut $226 million in the fall and they say he told lawmakers Thursday that he’ll cut another $221 million, to total $437 million.

Stringer and Brown say House leaders believe the total cuts should be $347 million. They say financial reserves could be tapped to mitigate the cuts.