Thursday, August 31, 2006

Recap of the First Extraordinary Session of 2006

The “Special” session called by Haley Barbour earlier this month, principally to ensure tax incentives for the River Bend project in DeSoto County lasted only a few short days in comparison to some of Mississippi’s previous special sessions. See House Bill 25 for the bill’s language. The River Bend project is a project that has thoroughly been discussed in the local news. For more information on the project and its passage see the Commerical Appeal, Daily Journal, & Clarion Ledger.This project seems to be following a similar path of tax incentives as projects such as Nissan and SteelCorr.

However, River Bend is not the only project the Legislature addressed. Other bills also appear to have passed both houses. They include: Senate Bill 2005: an appropriation to renovate a portion of the Sillers building in downtown Jackson; Senate Bill 2010: creating special assessment areas and allowing for bonding and taxing with regards to a Byram/Clinton corridor; House Bill 1: allowing bonds to be issued for expanding the Magee General Hospital; House Bill 5: which provides grants for local governments on the Gulf Coast; House Bill 14: expanding the bonding authority for Gulfport’s Memorial Hospital. Many of these bills appear to be ready to be addressed by the governor but the Legislature’s website does not currently indicate they have been enrolled and signed to be sent to the Governor. I will research this further and post an update on this point in the comments when I find out more information.

Other bills did not get passed in this extra session. Key among these bills was Senate Bill 2003 that would reduce the sales tax on modular home units. The lack of passage for this bill is, however, rumored to be the basis for another special session.

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