Committee votes to increase Mississippi's budget - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Committee votes to increase Mississippi's budget

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By Mike McDaniel - mmcdaniel@wlbt.com

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A bit of good news Tuesday when it comes to the state budget.

There's been an increase in the budget thanks to reports of the state's economy slowly improving.

That news came Tuesday morning after the Joint Legislative Budget Committee voted to make increases after hearing from State Economist Darrin Webb.

Webb made a recommendation to increase the current fiscal year budget by $6.5 million and also an additional increase of $14.4 million to next years budget.

Webb says these are slight and conservative increases and do not mean Mississippi is out of the woods yet.

"We will be years before we are back to where we were," Webb said. "We're still going to take many years to recover all the jobs that have been lost. The growth rate that we're talking about is very, very small."

"It's an encouraging sign and our appropriating members will try to use this money to the very best advantage of the citizens," said Speaker of the House Billy McCoy.

House Speaker McCoy says he hopes the additional funding will be geared towards education, public health and public safety.

Meanwhile, some lawmakers who were opposed to the increases say they simply do not believe the money will be there.

Governor Haley Barbour has even expressed his opposition.

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