Mississippi lawmakers kick off hearings this week as they start the long road toward budgeting taxpayers' money for the coming fiscal year.
The Joint Legislative Budget Committee meets Monday through Thursday in Jackson.
Members expect to hear presentations for public education, Medicaid and other big programs. And if all goes as planned, the full House and Senate will finish the budget by early April.
Amid the ongoing economic downturn, officials say another year of economic uncertainly appears in store.
House Speaker Billy McCoy also cautions that millions of federal stimulus dollars will disappear midway through the coming fiscal year, putting the pinch on spending.