HEADLINES : Mississippi
Lawmakers approve most parts of $5.6B state budget
JACKSON - Mississippi lawmakers on Saturday approved most parts of a $5.6 billion budget with only a few arguments about the level of education funding and whether to set aside money for an anticipated legal fight over voter ID.
The House and Senate return to the Capitol late this afternoon, and they face a Monday deadline to finish work on budget and revenue bills for fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1.
"Let me commend you on a hard day's work," Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, told visibly tired House members as they prepared to head home for a few hours to see their families and pick up clean clothes for what is supposed to be the final week of the four-month session.
If legislators stick to their schedule, they'll finish the session by May 6. They still have to wrap up work on several big issues, including proposals to change the workers compensation system and to revise the attorney general's power to award contracts to private lawyers.