UPDATE: Top Mississippi lawmakers reach $5.5B budget deal

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Top Mississippi lawmakers say they’ve reached a $5.5 billion budget deal for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The announcement came late Friday afternoon, just four days before the full House and Senate return to consider the spending plan.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo says most state programs will take significant cuts because money is tight.

Legislators took a break about three weeks ago because they were hoping Congress would approve $187 million in additional federal stimulus money for Mississippi.

That stimulus money is still on hold. Nunnelee says it’s not part of the budget, but lawmakers have a contingency plan to use $110 million if it arrives later.

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