UPDATE: Senate panel OKs giving Barbour more power to cut

JACKSON — The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a bill that gives the governor more flexibility to make budget cuts.

The measure approved Monday would allow Gov. Haley Barbour to cut any agency he chose up to 10 percent until June 30, 2011.

Current state law says the governor cannot cut any agency’s money by more than 5 percent until every agency has been cut by that percentage.

Barbour wants legislators to let him cut agencies’ budgets up to 10 percent when money is short, but he wants the power to cut some more than others.

Republican Appropriations Committee Chairman Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo says he hopes to bring the legislation up for a vote in the Senate by week’s end.

The Associated Press