• 81°

Small decrease expected for state budget next year

JACKSON (AP) — Mississippi is on track to have a slightly smaller budget in the coming year, reflecting caution about the state economy.

Top lawmakers met Wednesday and set an estimate that the state will have $5.6 billion available to spend during fiscal 2019, which begins July 1.

That is $1.5 million less than the estimate for the current year.

State economist Darrin Webb says Mississippi continues to lag behind the nation in economic growth.

Lawmakers will use the revenue estimate as a basis for writing the budget.

The 14-member Joint Legislative Budget Committee will recommend in December how to divvy up tax dollars for education, health, prisons and other state government functions.

All lawmakers will get to vote on a spending plan during a three-month session starting in January.