Mississippi budget: More talks but no agreement

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Negotiators met briefly Friday at the Mississippi Capitol but didn’t agree on a plan to plug holes in the state budget.

House members say senators are demanding too much money for the Department of Corrections, while senators say the House would give too little to prisons.

The two sides are close to an agreement on restoring a few million dollars to elementary and secondary schools and universities. But while the House wants to give $3 million to community colleges, the Senate proposes no money for the two-year schools.

Mississippi revenues are lagging because of the weak economy, and Gov. Haley Barbour has cut $458.5 million from what started last July a nearly $6 billion budget. Most programs are losing 8.7 percent of their funding.

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