FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 17, 2007

CONTACT: TERRY R. CASSREINO
Phone:
(601) 969-2913
E-mail:
cassreino@msdemocrats.net

 

Mississippi Democratic Party Fact Sheet

JACKSON (Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2007) – Here is a look at documentation and facts that support the Mississippi Democratic Party’s television ad criticizing Republican Gov. Haley Barbour for failing to play it straight on key issues.

GROCERY TAX
Barbour vetoed two bills in the 2006 Legislature that would have either eliminated or reduced the state tax of 7 cents-on-the-dollar charged on the purchase of groceries. The bills also would have increased the state tax on cigarettes. The bills were Senate Bill 2310 and Senate Bill 3084. Click the bill numbers to download the veto messages.

KATRINA HOMEOWNERS ASSISTANCE GRANT PROGRAM
One of Barbour’s top Hurricane Katrina relief programs is the Katrina Homeowners Assistance Grant Program, administered by the Mississippi Development Authority.
According to MDA statistics from Jan. 10, 2007, found at the agency’s Web site (www.mississippi.org), 9,102 grants have been paid even though 17,539 people have applied for help. The number of grants paid is up from Oct. 11, 2006, when 1,300 checks had been written to Coast residents.
But a large number of residents continue to live in trailers while waiting for help nearly 1½ years since Katrina struck. The MDA obviously has taken a long time to process grant applications. Also of note: Barbour appoints the executive director of the MDA.

EDUCATION FUNDING
Barbour’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 would give the Mississippi Adequate Education Program $65 million in new money. The MAEP is the basic funding mechanism for our public schools.
The $65 million, however, is significantly less than the $158 million education leaders originally told elected officials they needed. Barbour said at that time he opposed fully funding MAEP next year; he also has opposed fully funding MAEP in the past.
When education leaders reduced the amount of money they needed to $124.6 million, Barbour changed his stand. Now, he says he expects the Legislature to fully fund MAEP. Click here for a Mississippi Democratic Party news release from Nov. 14, 2006, criticizing Barbour’s stand against fully funding the MAEP.

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