Roughly $6.3 billions, that’s the amount of money Mississippi lawmakers have budgeted for the next fiscal year.
Mississippi lawmakers are entering the final week of the 2015 legislative session. Working through the weekend, state lawmakers were able to reach a deal on how much the state should spend during F.Y. 2016, which begins July 1. Overall, they are set to approve an additional $250 million over last years budget. However, those precise figures have not been fully hashed out.
Speaker Pro Tem Greg Snowden, a republican from Meridian, says all the details won’t be finalized until the end of today.
“Many of the general fund remain; a lot of them had to be recommitted because to meet yesterday’s deadline for filing a lot of bills were filed in dummy form which were basically blank placeholders,” says Snowden. “Today they were recommitted and they have been working on those today and we’ll take those up tomorrow.”
So far, budget writers believe there’ll likely be increases in higher education, community colleges and Medicaid. Yet for some lawmakers like Democratic Representative Omeria Scott of Laurel, the new budget doesn’t do enough to address several of the state’s problems.
“There are certain people getting raises; we’re having winners and losers and I don’t think that bodes well for our force of state employees,” Scott says. “To me there is a serious lack of consideration for the basic needs of the state and in particular for the average everyday Mississippian.”
Lawmakers have until Saturday to finalize the budget, but many believe they will be done before the deadline.