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Barbour to reveal budget recommendations

JACKSON — Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will hold a news conference today to reveal his new recommendations for the state budget.

His announcement comes six days before legislators return to Jackson to finish writing a $5.5-billion state spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Barbour released his initial budget in November, but lawmakers have rejected some of his ideas, including his proposal to merge the eight public universities into five.

Barbour spokesman Dan Turner says the Republican governor still wants lawmakers to be careful with the state’s financial reserves and to give agency directors more flexibility in their individual budgets.

It’s not clear how long it will take lawmakers to finish their budget talks.

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