Mississippi leaders set initial outline for state budget

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Top Mississippi lawmakers are setting an early version of state budget recommendations for the coming year.

Members of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee met Wednesday and adopted a broad outline for a $6.1 billion spending plan. That's about 1 percent smaller than the current budget.

Leaders say they will decide later whether to consider pay raises for teachers and state government employees. Gov. Phil Bryant recommends a teacher pay raise.

The election-year legislative session begins in January, and the final flurry of budget writing will happen in late March and early April. The budget year begins July 1.

The initial plan recommends a slight decrease in funding for all levels of education, from kindergarten through universities.

It proposes a small increase for the Mississippi Highway Patrol for new state troopers.