Mississippi lawmakers finish their 2013 session

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Mississippi Legislature has ended its three-month session.

The House and Senate adjourned Thursday after finishing last-minute business, including confirmation of several nominees to lead agencies and serve on state regulatory boards.

Lawmakers approved most of a $5.5 billion budget for fiscal 2014. But, they will have to return for a special session before July 1 to keep the Medicaid program alive and to put money into it.

Many state agencies have to be reauthorized every few years, and Medicaid was up for review this session. The reauthorization failed amid a partisan dispute over whether to expand Medicaid under the health law that President Barack Obama signed in 2010.

Democrats wanted Medicaid expansion, but Republican leaders said the state can’t afford it.