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Mississippi lawmakers miss budget deadline, forcing rules suspension to come up Monday

While many inside and outside the Mississippi State Capitol thought this might be the final week of the session, House and Senate leaders on Sunday asked their peers to get ready for another week of lawmaking.

A consequential deadline miss on Saturday night that resulted in 100 appropriation bills being killed is the main reason legislators could be working until the original sine-die date of May 5 or even further out, according to Speaker Jason White. Both chambers will now have to vote to suspend the rules in order to revive those bills and hammer out a state budget for Fiscal Year 2025.

“Just by way of a roadmap over the next few days, it looks like maybe we’ve reached some consensus with the Senate to move forward with our budgets. So, we will probably have a rule suspension as early as tomorrow so that we will be able to take up the conference reports on revenue and appropriation bills,” White informed his chamber before gaveling out on Sunday afternoon. “By way of the week, I would expect that we will certainly be here at least until Friday, and we might even be here Saturday or next Sunday… I don’t know if the resolution will also include extending the session on paper.”

In what turned into a somewhat traditional conference weekend after reports began coming in on a roll-out basis throughout the week, lawmakers did tackle a few issues, including sending a new K-12 funding formula and a PERS stopgap plan to the desk of Gov. Tate Reeves.

One issue that was not voted on over the weekend was Medicaid as proponents look to make Mississippi the 42nd state to expand healthcare coverage to the working poor under the Affordable Care Act. The Senate offered two plans – both of which have a strict work requirement – to the more lenient House, where White and company would like to see a tentative work requirement in place but not one that would ruin the deal or end up in a courtroom if the federal government chooses not to approve.

White told his

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