Jackson, Miss. Mississippi's Joint Legislative Budget Committee has presented a proposed budget for FY 2015.
Committee chairman, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, says the $5.86 billion proposal maintains current agency spending while reducing more than 2,000 vacant positions.
The budget plan increases total spending by $36.3 million, or 0.6 percent above last year’s spending levels. Officials say the budget prioritizes education by increasing funding for the Institutions of Higher Learning (2.6 percent),
community colleges (3.3 percent), and K-12 General Education (12.9 percent).
There is also money included for infrastructure: $20 million for bridge replacement on state aid roads, $49 million for R&R, $10 million for the Public School Building Fund, and an additional $3.3 million to move towards full funding of Homestead Exemption.
The recommendation by the JLBC also suggests $548 million be reserved for increasing the balance of the Rainy Day Fund to an optimal level.
The commission's proposed budget is a starting point for budget talks during the upcoming legislative session. The next fiscal year begins July 2014.