Mississippi Dept. of Mental Health could get budget cut

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Several Mississippi House members say they want budget writers to restore more than $6 million that could be cut from the Department of Mental Health for the coming year.

The House and Senate face an early April deadline to agree on a $5.5 billion spending plan for all of state government. Fiscal 2014 begins July 1.

Democratic Rep. Bo Eaton of Taylorsville said Wednesday that people who are mentally ill or mentally disabled don’t have high-paid lobbyists working on their behalf, but they need state support.

House Public Health Chairman Sam Mims, a Republican from McComb, says the proposed $6 million cut to mental health would be a 2.8 percent reduction. He says that with limited money, budget writers have to make tough choices.