Lawmakers to Begin Budget Negotiations

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A group of House and Senate members will try to negotiate a compromise on a bill that aims to restore some of the money Gov. Haley Barbour has cut from the state budget.

The Senate voted Wednesday to release the bill so it could go to conference.

The bill originated in the Senate as a plan to give Barbour more flexibility in his ability to reduce agency spending in the face of declining revenue collections.

When the bill left the House, language had been inserted to dip into the state's rainy day fund and the health care trust fund to restore $100 million of the $437 million Barbour has already cut from the budget.

By state law, the governor must make cuts when revenues fall to keep the budget balanced.

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