Mississippi lawmakers have ended the first part of their 2009 session and will return to the Capitol in several weeks to finish writing a state budget.
Several big issues are still unresolved, including a proposal to increase the cigarette tax.
Also still pending is Gov. Haley Barbour's plan to enact a hospital tax to help pay for Medicaid, the state health program for the needy.
Legislators will return in May or June to wrap up work on an overall state spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
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