By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press
JACKSON — Top lawmakers meet later this month start to planning Mississippi’s budget for the year that begins next July 1.
Public hearings will take place Sept. 19-22 at the Woolfolk state office building in downtown Jackson.
Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant is the Republican nominee for governor. He says Wednesday that he wanted to cancel the budget hearings this fall because several members of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee — including him — will not return to the Legislature next year.
Democratic House Speaker Billy McCoy says the fall budget hearings are an obligation, and legislators need to fulfill their duties until the last day they’re in office. McCoy is not seeking re-election.
The fall hearings produce a set of recommendations, and new legislators will vote on a budget next spring.