Mississippi's $5.5 billion budget is finally approved

JACKSON, MS (AP) - Word from the state capitol is that Mississippi lawmakers have passed the state's $5.5 billion budget for the year that begins July 1.

The House and Senate passed dozens of bills Monday to set spending levels for everything from public schools to mental health to prisons. There was little discussion in either chamber because most of the tough decisions were made last week by a small group of negotiators.

One budget bill includes provisions to name the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Rankin County for Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, the Mississippi Department of Transportation headquarters in Jackson for Democratic House Speaker Billy McCoy and a Highway Patrol substation in Meridian for the late Democratic Rep. Charles Young of Meridian.

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