Mississippi governor calls special session for ‘biggest economic development project in history’ — 1,000 new jobs, $2.5 billion investment

Published 12:00 pm Monday, October 31, 2022

by Geoff Pender and Bobby Harrison

Mississippi Today 

Gov. Tate Reeves on Monday announced he was calling lawmakers into special session Wednesday for what he called the largest economic development project in state history.

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Reeves posted on social media: “Biggest economic development project in MS history coming to Golden Triangle: $2.5 billion capital investment (Nearly 2X larger than previous CapEx record), 1000 jobs, $93,000 average salary.”

The special session would involve an economic development project in the Golden Triangle area of the state, which spans from Starkville to West Point to Columbus.

Reeves said he had briefed Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and House Speaker Philip Gunn and other legislative leaders on the development and that he is “Looking forward to full legislative bodies taking swift action for what could be a 1-day session.”

Typically, major economic development projects require legislative approval when the state spends large amounts of tax dollars on incentives — such as for infrastructure or on tax breaks.

Reeves last week, at a speech at the state chamber of commerce’s annual “Hobnob” hinted at a major economic development project. He said that Mississippi has seen $3.5 billion in new capital investments in the state so far in 2022 and, “I’ve got a pretty good inkling it’s going to go a lot higher between now and Dec. 31.”

“It is an economic development project somewhere in northeast Mississippi,” confirmed Rep. Robert Johnson, D-Natchez, the House minority leader. “I wish I could tell you more.”

Other lawmakers appeared to know scant details.

“I heard this morning that there may be a special session,” said Rep. Manly Barton, R-Moss Point. “Economic development, that’s what I heard, but I haven’t heard anything else at this point.”

Johnson said it is great that an economic development project is coming to northeast Mississippi but said the Legislature should be doing more to help other areas of the state.

“You have the Greenwood hospital about to close in the Delta,” he said. “You have the water issues in Jackson.”