Lawmakers: Balancing Budget Focus of 2010 Session

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The 2010 Mississippi Legislature begins a 90-day session Tuesday, but a key lawmaker already has predicted its outcome: job losses, fee increases and reduced state services.

House Appropriations Chairman Johnny Stringer said there will be no way to avoid reductions since the state's revenue collections remain below expectations.

Members of the House and Senate will wrangle over a $6 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Gov. Haley Barbour so far has shaved more than $226 million from state agencies in the current budget year, citing a sluggish economy. By law, Mississippi's budget must be balanced.

Stringer said vacant state government positions likely won't be filled and lawmakers are eying fee increases on car titles, agricultural licenses and other items.


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