JACKSON, Miss. — One of the top budget writers in the Mississippi Legislature has been taken from the state Capitol by ambulance, days before final budget talks.

The Clarion Ledger reports that state Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Buck Clarke appeared alert as he was taken from the building on a stretcher Thursday. The 61-year-old Republican from Hollandale was talking on his cellphone as he was put into an ambulance.

Laura Hipp, spokeswoman for Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, says Clarke has a medical issue and was taken to St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson “out of an abundance of caution” and was being checked by doctors.

House and Senate negotiators face a Saturday night deadline to agree on details of a $6 billion state government budget for the year that begins July 1.