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Most Mississippi agencies are told to prep spending cuts in case education initiative passes

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JACKSON, Mississippi — A top Mississippi budget writer is telling leaders of most state agencies to plan how they would cut spending a year from now in case voters approve a school funding initiative in November.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Herb Frierson met with agency directors Tuesday at the Capitol.

Frierson is telling directors to prepare plans for 7.8 percent budget cuts. The Republican says at least $200 million would have to be moved from other programs into education if Initiative 42 passes.

The initiative would require lawmakers to fulfill a school funding formula that has been ignored most years since it was put into law in 1997.

Patsy Brumfield, spokeswoman for a group pushing Initiative 42, says Frierson is using scare tactics because the proposal would not require immediate full funding.

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