Experts urge caution in Miss. budget process

Published 7:23 pm Friday, January 12, 2007

Financial experts say Mississippi’s economy is growing but still faces uncertainty during the long recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

“We need to be cautious as we approach the budgeting process,” State Treasurer Tate Reeves told lawmakers Thursday during a fiscal briefing at the Capitol.

State economist Phil Pepper said Mississippi now has stronger economic growth than the nation, but much of that in the state is “Katrina driven” as people rebuild homes and replace appliances, cars and other goods destroyed by the storm.

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Lawmakers started their three-month session last week and are expected to finish writing a budget in late March. The next budget year starts July 1.