- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 24, 2016

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The top budget writer in the Mississippi House says the state’s Medicaid program needs another $52 million during the budget year that ends June 30.

Appropriations Committee Chairman Herb Frierson also says one way to plug that hole, and to cover other deficits, is to use $66 million in lawsuit settlements announced by Attorney General Jim Hood.

Legislators will spend the next two months filling holes in the current budget and writing a more than $6 billion budget for fiscal 2017, which begins July 1.

Frierson, a Poplarville Republican, says Wednesday that the state projects that in the coming year, $42 million more will be needed for debt payments and $32 million more will be needed for the embattled foster care system, which is threatened by federal court takeover.

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