Mississippi House and Senate approve borrowing $196 million; universities get $96 million

A bill to borrow $196 million would send tens of millions to universities and community colleges for construction projects.

Senate Bill 2913 is on its way to Republican Gov. Phil Bryant’s desk after sailing through the House and Senate on Monday. It also contains borrowing authority for special projects favored by powerful Republican members.

Lawmakers didn’t pass a bond bill in 2012, after leaders of the GOP-led House and Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves couldn’t agree on how much to borrow. From 1996 to 2011, lawmakers authorized some borrowing every year. The typical amount authorized was $345 million, ranging from a low of $28 million in 2008 to a high of $857 million in 2010.