“Mississippi is poised because we have been responsible,” he said after his appearance. “We are positioned very well to take advantage of opportunities.”
He said the state has a balanced budget and has reduced its debt load.
Pickering says his office will have a key role in accountability with the upcoming stimulus funding. Following Hurricane Katrina, the state received some $20 billion, and the stimulus money coming to the state is about $2.5 billion. “I think we can handle it,” he said.
He also answered an audience question about the case involving Joey Langston and Tim Balducci.
Staff members in Pickering’s office are attempting to recover a $14 million fee issued by a federal judge in New Jersey from the MCI settlement, Pickering said.
Pickering also provided an overview of his office’s work. “We’re your watchdog,” he said.
Starkville Daily News