According to House Appropriations Committee chairman Johnny Stringer, cuts lie ahead for Mississippi's FY 2005-2006 budget year.
Stringer is one of the 14 lawmakers who meet Wednesday to set a spending estimate for the coming budget year. The estimate is an educated guess about how much money will be available in the fiscal year that starts next July 1.
Stringer says he fears lawmakers will have to eliminate some state programs, but he won't specify which ones. He says education, health care and public safety should be the top concerns. Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck lists the same three priorities.
State agencies have requested between $500 million and $900 million more for the coming year than they're receiving this year.
The current year's general fund is about $3.6 billion and there's not expected to be enough growth to cover the new requests.
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