Mississippi budget hearings set for late September

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Top lawmakers meet later this month to start planning Mississippi’s budget — a process they’ll hand off to new legislators who take office in January.

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee announced Wednesday that it will hold public hearings Sept. 19-22 at the Woolfolk state office building, near the Capitol in downtown Jackson.

Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant is the Republican nominee for governor and current chairman of the 14-member committee. He said he wanted to cancel the budget hearings this fall because several committee members — including him — won’t return next year.

Democratic House Speaker Billy McCoy of Rienzi, who’s not seeking re-election, said the fall budget hearings are an obligation and they give the public a chance to hear how tax dollars might be spent on everything from public health to prisons to education.