Time ticking on finalizing state spending - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Time ticking on finalizing state spending

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Lawmakers worked against two deadlines Monday. The deadline for filing conference reports on general bills is 8 p.m.. All appropriations and revenue bills must be voted on by midnight.

"I'm very pleased with where the budget is progressing now," said Governor Phil Bryant.

There was more wiggle room in the state budget after revenue projections shot up a week ago. Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves says that "extra" disappeared quickly.

"$64 million increases for public education for teacher pay plan, another $10 million increase for MAEP, in all told about $19 million in additional public safety expenditures," detailed Reeves. "Combined that's about 95 million dollars more than we spent last year."

As it stands, Mississippi teachers will get the pay raise they've requested. Negotiations on specifics carried into Monday. Governor Bryant commented on the likely $1,500 across the board raise they'll get next year.

"Under the conditions that we have now, I think that we should celebrate what the House and Senate will bring to my desk," said Bryant.

Some lawmakers, like Senator Hob Bryan, remain frustrated that the state's education funding formula known as MAEP will only get a $10 million boost.

"With the legislature violating the law and refusing to fund the adequate education program, we are short changing the schools in Mississippi $250 million each year," said Bryan. "They're having to use other revenue just to take care of the basics."

On the public safety front, rally cries were heard. The Governor's pleased the state will fork over the money necessary for a new trooper school.

"Put more troopers on the roads, that will save lives," Bryant explained."Nothing's more important with what we do in this building than that."

Not all state employees will see the bump in their paycheck they wanted. It will only be for those making less than $30,000 a year.

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