(Photo from Governor Tate Reeves on Facebook)
The special session will finalize an economic development project that will have the largest payroll impact in the state’s history.
On Tuesday, Governor Tate Reeves announced he would be calling lawmakers into a special session to address an economic development project coming to north Mississippi. The project involves the production and delivery of electric battery sales for use in the commercial automotive and industrial applications space.
“It is my pleasure to announce this morning that I am calling a Special Session within the regular session to finalize a major economic deal for our state,” said Governor Reeves.
The special session is needed to finalize a $1.9 billion capital investment by companies yet to be named for the project in Marshall County. It is expected to create 2,000 jobs with an average annual salary of $66,000. This salary average does not include the benefit package the company will offer, of which Reeves said he was confident it would be substantial.
The location of the project is within the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park. The site itself will encompass 500 acres. Governor Reeves indicated that the company or companies involved are U.S.-based.
Governor Reeves said he was not at liberty to disclose the names of the companies included in the agreement today but those companies will be released in accordance with disclosure agreements Thursday when the Legislature considers the project.
According to Governor Reeves, this project will be the largest annual payroll commitment of any major project in Mississippi history. It is also the second largest corporate capital investment in Mississippi history, which was set last year when Reeves announced an economic development project in the Golden Triangle.
“This deal is further proof of the good things happening in our state,” said Governor Reeves. “We look forward to seeing this project come to fruition.”
Reeves spoke highly of Marshall County’s local leadership that helped this project come to fruition. He said announcements like this don’t happen without true partnership from the county, state and everyone in-between.
“They are top notch,” said Reeves of the Marshall County officials.
Reeves said the jobs will span from executive leadership, engineering, and advanced manufacturing. It is expected that these jobs will directly correlate with educational resources provided through community colleges and workforce development programs across Mississippi, particularly in north Mississippi. He added that he anticipates seeing additional businesses moving to the area, drawn in by EV technology and manufacturing.
The Next Steps
Action by the Legislature is needed to finalize the project, since it will require an investment from the state.
It is estimated the state will provide roughly $350 million toward the project. Half is expected to go toward infrastructure, including roads around the facility as well as water and sewer, while the remaining half will go towards the facility itself.
“It’s a great day for Mississippi and furthermore it is proof that the momentum in Mississippi is real. This is the evidence of that,” said Speaker of the House Jason White.
A special session called within a regular legislative session is not a common occurrence. In the past, when a special session is called, there is an unspoken understanding between the Governor’s office and legislative leadership that the issue being considered is largely agreed upon prior to the call. This is particularly important during a regular session so as not to greatly impact work of the regular session.
Governor Reeves said calling a special session allows for lawmakers to bypass some of the particular guidelines set by a regular session to move the project forward. He and other state leadership present at the press conference indicated they would be having conversations with lawmakers over the next two days to answer any questions.
Legislation to finalize the project will be filed on Thursday and is expected to pass through the House and Senate in one day.
“This is a continuing part for Mississippi that we are open for business,” said Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann. “I expect this will go through the Senate quite rapidly. I don’t see any barrier at all that we do this very quickly in the Legislature. I think this is historic for what will continue to be more development in Mississippi.”
The Governor was joined by leadership in both the House and Senate at Tuesday’s announcement, including Lt. Governor Hosemann, Speaker White, Speaker Pro Tempore Manly Barton, Chairman of House Ways and Means Trey Lamar and the Chairmen of the Senate’s money committees, Senators Briggs Hopson and Josh Harkins. Other Senators present were Senator Kevin Blackwell and Senator Neil Whaley, who represent portions of the area.
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