CL – Lawmakers using $82M restoration momentum to get FY 2011’s budget done on time

The two months of political infighting that preceded Wednesday’s passage of a bill that restores $82 million to the current state budget hasn’t deterred lawmakers’ optimism for finishing the session on time.

“The love fest is back,” said Rep. George Flaggs, D-Vicksburg, underscoring his enthusiasm with a thumbs up. “I would be surprised if we didn’t get out early.”

There is roughly a month left in the regularly scheduled session for lawmakers to approve a $5 billion-plus budget for the new year beginning July 1.

Gov. Haley Barbour is expected to sign the budget restoration bill both chambers overwhelmingly approved Wednesday for fiscal 2010. House and Senate negotiators brokered the deal late Tuesday night.

The attention now turns to fiscal 2011.

Clarion Ledger