Brown: Miss. budget tough, even with stimulus cash

Published 8:59 pm Monday, May 4, 2009

One of Mississippi’s top money handlers says lawmakers will have a tough time wrapping up a budget for the year that begins July 1.

Rep. Cecil Brown spoke Monday at a press luncheon in Jackson. The Jackson Democrat is among the budget negotiators who are meeting before the full House and Senate return to the Capitol on Wednesday.

Brown says the federal stimulus money is “a huge help,” but it won’t solve all of Mississippi’s problems as the economy struggles and unemployment rises.

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Republican Gov. Haley Barbour says state tax collections are on track to fall $400 million short of expectations during the year that ends June 30. The current budget is about $5 billion.