By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – The Mississippi House, by an overwhelming 106-14 margin, passed legislation Thursday to restore $79 million of the $458 million in budget cuts made this fiscal year by Gov. Haley Barbour.
House leaders hope the proposal, which is halfway between the $100 million passed earlier by their chamber and the $58 million passed by the Senate, will be accepted by the Senate and sent on to the governor.
Senate and House leaders have said it is crucial to reach a compromise of how much of the cuts would be restored to provide agencies, particularly local school districts, some certainty.
House leaders say they hope the additional funds, coming from the more than $500 million in reserve accounts, will help schools and state agencies to avoid layoffs and drastic reductions in services.
The governor has cut budgets because state collections have been lower than projections.