Barbour: Special Miss. budget session, if needed

By The Associated Press

JACKSON – Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says he wants lawmakers to finish writing a budget before their regular session ends, but he’s not bothered by calling them back for a special session if that’s what it takes to get the job done.

The Republican governor called lawmakers back for a budget special session in 2009 when lawmakers failed to agree on a spending plan during the regular session.

The current three-month regular session is scheduled to end Saturday, but House and Senate negotiators say they still had significant differences Wednesday about how much to spend on education and mental health. They also disagree about how much money to leave in the state’s financial reserves.

The budget is expected to be about $5.5 billion for the year that begins July 1.