Mississippi lawmakers propose spending cuts for coming year

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Top lawmakers are proposing a Mississippi budget that would be 3 percent smaller for the coming year.

House Speaker Philip Gunn says most state agencies should plan to operate on “the leanest levels possible” during fiscal 2018, which begins July 1.

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee met Thursday. Members adopted a recommendation for the state to spend almost $6.2 billion – a reduction of just over $195 million from the current year.

The committee recommends an increase in funding for schools that show academic improvement.

Among the programs that could see spending cuts are Medicaid, universities, community colleges, mental health and prisons.

This is just an early plan, though. The House and Senate face a deadline in late March to agree on final details of the budget.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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