As the deadline looms for approval a budget for fiscal 2016, the Board of Supervisors on Monday approved significant pay increases for Eighth Circuit Court District reporters by order of the judges and also renewed the county's employee healthcare plan.

In accordance with a court order issued by Judges Vernon Cotten and Marcus Gordon, county supervisors agreed to support a salary increase for three court reporters over a three-year period.

Interim County Administrator Jeff Mayo said the court order raises the annual salary of court reporters to $64,000 by 2017. Mayo said the salary is divided between four counties in the district but will have significant effect on the fiscal 2016 budget the supervisors have to finalize by next week.

Mayor said it will increase their spending by about $12,000 a year.

"It will have a big impact on our budget," Mayo said.

Court reporters currently make $38,000 in salary plus benefits. The salaries will rise to $52,000 starting in October. There will be another increase to $56,000 in 2016 and then in 2017 to $64,000.

Board Attorney Wade White said that it was good the Neshoba County would not have to shoulder the significant pay increase alone.

"About the only good thing about this is that it will be split between the four counties," White said.

The district is composed of Neshoba, Leake, Scott and Newton counties.

Earlier this month, Judge Cotten told supervisors that a new law passed by the legislature says that counties "may" raise the salaries of court reporters.

"I know you have to watch your purse and be proactive," Cotten said. "My court reporter has 20 years of experience, 11 years with me. He has not had a raise in 13 years."

In other board action, Alan Hardy, of Philadelphia Security Insurance, gave supervisors an overview of possible options for insurance coverage for county employees.

All Savers Insurance Company raised the price of the county's current "E1" plan from $403.56 an employee a month to $499.20. The county opted to switch to All Saver's cheaper "D1" plan, which most notably will see a significant decrease in medical credit from $1,000 to $350.

Employees will pay their co-pay and the difference go towards their medical credit.

The deductible will remain at $1,500 an employee. The maximum out-of-pocket will rise from $4,500 to $5,750.

The "D1" will costs $434.47 an employee a month.

"I'm sorry I can't say I have any good news," Hardy said. "Health insurance is a mess right now."

Mayo said that the current county budget allows for about $425 per employee, per month. He said departments would have to "absorb" the excess. He said that he does not see that being a big problem, but he admitted it would affect the larger departments more than smaller ones.

"They will probably have to make little adjustments like cutting fuel costs or cut down on buying office supplies," Mayo said.