State legislators stepped up the pace Wednesday toward adopting a $5.61 billion budget for the 2014 fiscal year without legislation authorizing Medicaid, which at about $828 million a year is one of the state’s most expensive programs.
Education is the largest state expense, consuming well over half of the state’s general fund.
Legislators are beginning their budget work in earnest at the halfway point of the 90-day 2013 legislative session.
“This is the first step in a process that’s going to take place over the next six weeks or so,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said in a roundtable meeting with reporters.