UPDATE: Few clues about when Miss. budget will be ready

JACKSON — Legislative leaders are still holding out hope that a Mississippi budget will be finished soon.

But they’re not giving any clues Thursday about when that might happen.

For the third day this week, most of the 122 House members and 52 senators remained at the Capitol with little to do. Only about a dozen negotiators are working on the details of a nearly $5 billion budget for the year that begins July 1.

House Speaker Billy McCoy and Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant say they’re optimistic that progress is being made. Once the final version of budget bills are filed, the entire House and Senate will get to vote.

Gov. Haley Barbour has urged legislators to be cautious because the recession has caused a decline in state tax collections.

The Associated Press