Barbour: state finances better than predicted

Gov. Barbour says the state ended the year $94 million better than expected. Here's a release just out from his office:

Gov. Haley Barbour announced today the state ended Fiscal Year 2011 with $94 million more in unobligated reserves than expected, leaving $285 million in reserves.

“As my successor and you begin planning the budget for next fiscal year, I urge you to protect these reserves for FY 2013 and beyond,” Gov. Barbour wrote in a letter to legislators. “While Mississippi has experienced some positive economic growth with major projects announced in the previous year, we must remember that the national economic recovery is weak, and small- to mid-sized businesses, our main employers, have seen very little growth, despite gains on Wall Street.”