Hattiesburg Council approves new budget

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg City Council approved a budget today, but did not give the school district the extra $600,000 it wanted. School officials were asking for a property tax increase of 3.25 mils to offset budget cuts.

But on a 3-to-2 vote, the Council decided to fund the school district at last year's level.

Only Deborah Delgado and Henry Naylor voted to give the district all the money it wanted.

"These are children who are entitled to the best public education that we can give them," said Delgado. "If we're short-stepping, don't choose education," she said.

"It's not cutting, there's no cut here," said Council president Kim Bradley. "It's maintaining the same level and in my mind, I can clearly say that with a good conscience, because we're not cutting anything. Let's just maintain what we have," Bradley said.

School officials who were present for the vote had no comment.

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