In order to cobble together a “balanced” budget amid shortfalls and deficits, Mississippi lawmakers shifted and raided so many accounts that state agency leaders are still trying to figure out exactly how much their budgets have been cut and how they’ll operate.

“We need guidance from someone,” said Dr. Mary Currier, head of the state Health Department. “… We’ve got lots of questions.”

For some agencies, the cuts are shaking out to be in the double digits percentage-wise, as bad as or worse than during the Great Recession and likely to cause layoffs and reduced services. With new budget rules, the Legislature also appears to have cut off some agencies’ access to federal money.

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