UPDATE: Barbour sets PSC budget session for this Friday

JACKSON — Republican Gov. Haley Barbour is calling a special session so Mississippi lawmakers can finish budgets for state utility regulators.

Barbour spokesman Dan Turner confirmed Tuesday the session will begin at 10 a.m. Friday.

It’s unclear how long it will take the House and Senate to agree on funding for the Public Service Commission and the related Public Utilities Staff.

The state fiscal year started July 1. Funding for the two agencies died during a special session last week in a dispute over staffing. The three elected commissioners wanted to hire more employees to help them evaluate utility companies’ requests for rate changes. House Democrats supported the request, while Barbour and Senate Republicans opposed it.

Most employees for the two agencies have been told to go home until budgets are set.

The Associated Press

Click video to hear audio