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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Top Mississippi lawmakers are increasing the estimate of how much money state government can spend this year and next.

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee made the changes Tuesday after hearing that the state economy has performed well the past several months.

Committee members added nearly $150 million to the estimate for fiscal 2014, which ends June 30, and another $98 million to the estimate for fiscal 2015, which begins July 1.

The state will spend roughly $6 billion of state money during fiscal 2015, most of it from the $5.5 billion general fund.

The changes give lawmakers more flexibility during their final days of budget writing. Saturday is the deadline for House and Senate negotiators to file final versions of more than 100 spending proposals for the coming year.

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