Tight Budget Approved by Panel

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The Mississippi Legislature will have about $4 billion in state funds to spend in the new fiscal year that begins July 1, 2006.

Key legislative leaders said there is no money for frills and only a continued increase in tax collections into March or April could make more money available for appropriations.

Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck repeatedly said at a meeting of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee that the proposal is a jumping off point.

Tuck said she and other lawmakers are hoping more money will be available for education, health care and public safety.