Miss. House and Senate approve borrowing $196M

By Jeff Amy and Laura Tillman/The Associated Press

JACKSON — A bill to borrow $196 million would send tens of millions to universities and community college for construction projects.

But the measure, on its way to Gov. Phil Bryant’s desk after sailing through the House and Senate Monday, also contains money for special projects favored by powerful Republican members.

Lawmakers didn’t pass a bond bill in 2012, after House members and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves couldn’t agree on how much to borrow. It was the first time since at least 1996 that Mississippi lawmakers didn’t borrow any money.

The measure includes $96.5 million for universities, including $31 million to build a new medical school building at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. Community and junior colleges would get $25 million, parceled out by a formula.