Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour last Friday warned lawmakers to be cautious in approving agency budget requests. Barbour said in a letter to top legislators that he had learned many agencies submitted budget requests for increased funding over their fiscal 2010 levels.

“Clearly, the budget shortfall we face in FY 2011 will make it difficult, if not impossible, to maintain even level funding for most agencies,” Barbour wrote. “As I have noted … the best estimates show Mississippi faces a budget shortfall anywhere between $175 and $350 million for the current fiscal year.”

Barbour will present budget recommendations to the Legislature by Nov. 15.

“I expect that my recommendations will, by necessity, be very different than what many state agencies requested,” Barbour wrote. “As Mississippi grapples with declining revenues and increased costs, we cannot practice business as usual in state government. The numbers simply won’t add up.”

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