Miss. lawmakers turn attention to FY14 budget

Mississippi lawmakers are pushing forward with early proposals for the budget year that begins July 1, and many agencies are likely to receive less money than they’re requesting.

The $5.5 billion spending plan will be about 1 percent bigger than it is now, with most of the increase going toward state employees’ retirement.

Education could receive slightly more money, with about $8 million penciled in for a limited program for pre-kindergarten. Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves also wants to spend about $7.5 million to help schools hire armed police officers — a proposal he made in response to the fatal shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

Reeves said most agencies are likely to receive about the same amount of money as they’re receiving this year. Still, many had requested increases, so agency directors won’t be able to do everything they want.

“What you find is a very conservative budget,” Reeves told reporters Wednesday.