Democrats in the Mississippi legislature are releasing their own version of a proposed state budget. The budget is intended to be a counter to a budget issued earlier this week by a Republican lead committee.
The Democrats are calling on the state to spend 185-million dollars that the Joint Legislative Budget Committee suggested the state keep in reserve.
The bulk of that would go to education including nearly 100-million more for the Mississippi Adequate education program and increases for universities and community colleges says representative Cecile Brown of Jackson.
"The one thing we can do something about right is funding for public education. That money is available. Public education should be at the top of the list," brown said.
The remaining amount would go toward road maintenance and a one-thousand dollar raise for state employees.
At a press conference announcing their plan, Senator Hob Bryan of Amory says it is incumbent upon democrats to provide a clear alternative.
"We are not proposing something outlandish. We are not proposing something irresponsible. This is where the money is. This is what we would do with the money. And frankly, I believe this is a proposal that would be overwhelmingly supported by the people of Mississippi," Bryan said.
Republicans on the committee say their proposal is more responsible and point out that both M-A-E-P and total education spending have increased every year they have been in control.