MS lawmakers agree on $6 billion state budget

MS lawmakers agree on $6 billion state budget

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi is set to spend more money on education, health programs and foster care in the budget year, which begins July 1.

Negotiators from the state House and Senate have agreed on most details of a roughly $6 billion state budget. They filed budget bills for most state agencies Saturday night.

The full House and Senate will start voting on budget and bond bills Sunday.

Leaders agreed on a borrowing package of about $280 million. That includes a $20 million bond bill already signed by Gov. Phil Bryant. Negotiators agreed Saturday to $50 million in bonds for local bridges, $82.5 million for universities, $25 million for community colleges and $45 million for state agencies and $45 million to help Ingalls Shipbuilding.

The bond package would also provide money for loan programs - $5 million for small cities and counties, $1 million for sewer projects and $1 million for water projects. A late addition to the bond bill was $5 million for a National Guard armory in DeSoto County.

One of the state agencies set to receive a slight budget increase is the Department of Public Safety. That money has been allocated for the department to hire medical examiners. Previously, the state medical examiners office budget was $2.5 million dollars a year, with the state crime lab having a budget of $10 million dollars annually.

House Speaker Pro Tempore Greg Snowden, a Republican from Meridian, says staffing shortages have caused delays in autopsies being done and death certificates being issued to families.

The three-month legislative session ends next week.

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