The spending blueprint for Mississippi's fiscal year, beginning July 1, is slightly smaller than the current year's budget. State revenues have been falling short of expectations in the rough economy. Officials are not proposing tax increases.
The legislative plan ignores some cost-cutting plans Gov. Haley Barbour has in his proposed budget, including his idea of merging the eight public universities into five.
Eliminating 3,600 vacant positions in state government is among the ways legislators propose saving money.
The budget adopted Tuesday by the 14-member Budget Committee is just a start.
The full legislature will convene in January and vote on a final budget in the coming months.
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