UPDATE: Bill to restore $100M to budget stalls in Senate

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — A bill to restore about one-fourth of the money Gov. Haley Barbour has cut from Mississippi’s budget has stalled in the Senate after lawmakers voted to spend more time negotiating it.

The Senate voted Monday to send the bill to conference with House members. Under the bill, lawmakers could use $50 million from the state’s rainy day fund and $50 million from the health care trust fund to restore money to several programs and agencies.

Several Senate Democrats urged their colleagues to approve the measure as is and send it to the governor.

But Appropriations Committee Chairman Alan Nunnelee said some of the reserve money should be saved for next fiscal year when the state may face an even larger budget hole.

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The bill is Senate Bill 2495.