By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – The 14-member Legislative Budget Committee approved a $5.52 billion budget proposal on Tuesday that level funds the Mississippi Adequate Program, community colleges and the eight universities.
The budget proposal is $32.2 million or .5 percent less than what was passed during the 2012 session.
The proposal will be used as a guideline when the Legislature meets in January to begin the process of passing a budget for the new fiscal year, beginning July 1.
It recommends spending slightly less state money, overall, than in the current year. It does not recommend tax increases or state employee pay raises.
Lawmakers propose saving money by eliminating state jobs that are vacant at least 60 days and by reducing travel and contract services.
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant released his own budget proposal last month, recommending most agencies take a 1.5 percent cut.
Lawmakers will consider the two plans, and other ideas, as they face an April deadline to adopt a state spending plan.
For capitol news from Jackson follow the NEMS Daily Journal’s own Bobby Harrison @BobbyHarrison9 on Twitter.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.