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State Senate passes first version of budget bills

JACKSON — The Mississippi Senate yesterday passed its first version of budget bills.

Lawmakers still face several weeks of work as they decide how much money state programs will receive during the 2013 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The House passed its own first draft of budget bills last week.

Each chamber proposes spending about $5.6 billion in state money. That’s a slight increase from the current year’s budget. Both the House and Senate also plan to spend billions more in federal money.

The two chambers have until late April to agree on details of spending for education, public health, prisons, transportation and other services of state government.

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