JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's eight public universities and 15 community colleges each would like lawmakers to increase their budgets by more than $75 million, arguing more state spending on higher education will help Mississippi's residents earn higher incomes and bolster the future of the state.
State agencies are presenting requests to the 14-member Joint Legislative Budget Committee, setting the stage for negotiations that won't intensify until the 2015 Legislature begins. The spending plan lawmakers write will begin next July 1.
Looming over both presentations, though, were legal efforts to force the Legislature to meet its funding promises to K-12 education. Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves asked both systems what they would do if lawmakers took $312 million from their budgets to fully fund the K-12 formula. Both say such cuts would be catastrophic.