Miss. leaders consider saving some stimulus money

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Republican Gov. Haley Barbour and a bipartisan group of Mississippi lawmakers are considering saving, rather than spending, one of the two pots of federal stimulus money Congress recently approved.

Lawmakers say the state still plans to spend $97.8 million of education stimulus money this fiscal year.

But, leaders tell The Associated Press that attorneys are researching whether the state is allowed to sock away the Medicaid stimulus money, which is expected to be about $130 million to $150 million, and spend it during the year that begins next July 1.

Several lawmakers say Mississippi will need the Medicaid stimulus money more next year than it does now.

Democratic Sen. Hob Bryan of Amory says Mississippi should spend the money now because state programs are pinched.

EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS / The Associated Press