Officials Say Mississippi in Good Shape for Debt Level

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A top Mississippi lawmaker says the House and Senate will try to agree on a package of long-term borrowing next year, after failing to authorize one this past spring.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Joey Fillingane of Sumrall says leaders want to cover state needs without creating too much bond debt.

Fillingane spoke Thursday at the Capitol, where his committee met for a briefing about state finances.

Deputy State Treasurer Laura Jackson says Mississippi has slightly over $4 billion in bond debt. The constitutional debt limit is $12.4 billion, so she says the state is in good shape.

Jackson also says Mississippi has never missed a bond payment, even during Hurricane Katrina.

The state issues bonds as long-term financing for economic development projects or for items such as government buildings.