Mississippi lawmakers are working on early versions of budget bills, and final negotiations are weeks away.
They’re deciding how to spend tax dollars during fiscal 2015, which starts July 1.
The Joint Legislative Budget Committee proposes $5.9 billion in state spending, while Gov. Phil Bryant proposes $6.1 billion.
During early stages of budget writing, the governor has more flexibility to make assumptions about how much money the state will collect for such things as lawsuit settlements. Lawmakers are supposed to limit themselves to sources of money that are more firmly guaranteed.
However, at some point in the next few weeks, legislative budget writers will review the state’s economic performance and decide whether to increase their estimate of how much money will be available to spend.