Mississippi lawmakers advancing budget proposals

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi lawmakers are entering the final weeks of the lengthy budget-writing process that started last fall.

The House Appropriations Committee met Tuesday and passed the latest versions of several proposals to fund state government during the year that begins July 1.

Senators are working on a parallel track.

Leaders from the two chambers are expected to negotiate final versions of budget bills in late March, and those should come up for approval by early April.

Mississippi’s general fund for the coming year is expected to be about $5.4 billion.

House leaders say they’re trying to avoid cuts to some big programs, including education.