Democrats offer budget proposal they say would pump more money into Mississippi education

Mississippi Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, at podium and Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, representing a number of Democrats in both chambers, respond to recommendations released this week by the Republican-led Joint Legislative Budget Committee during a news conference at the Capitol in Jackson on Thursday. (Rogelio V. Solis/The Associated Press)
Mississippi Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, at podium and Rep. Cecil Brown, D-Jackson, representing a number of Democrats in both chambers, respond to recommendations released this week by the Republican-led Joint Legislative Budget Committee during a news conference at the Capitol in Jackson on Thursday. (Rogelio V. Solis/The Associated Press)

JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — Democrats in the Mississippi Legislature are offering their own budget proposal that they say would pump more money into education.

Sen. Hob Bryan of Amory and Rep. Cecil Brown of Jackson released the plan on behalf of their colleagues Thursday.

It came two days after the Republican-led Joint Legislative Budget Committee released its spending proposal for fiscal 2016, which begins July 1.

Bryan says the Democrats’ plan would fully fund $40 million for the second year of a teacher pay raise. That’s more than the $32 million proposed by the Budget Committee.

Democrats also propose a $1,000 pay raise for each state employee, plus higher spending for community colleges, universities and highways, without increasing taxes.

Legislators will debate budget ideas during the session that runs from January to April.