FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 4, 2004

GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR CALLSSPECIAL
SESSION FOR "JOB BONDS"
SPECIAL SESSION TO AID IN SECURINGMORE THAN 3,500 MISSISSIPPI JOBS

(Jackson, Miss.) - Governor Haley Barbour will be calling lawmakers to the Capitol to authorize bonds that are critical to industries that employ thousands of Mississippians. Today, Governor Barbour called a Special Session to convene at 1:00 p.m., Monday, November 8, 2004. The
$103.7 million proposed bond package included in the Special Session call includes $40 million for a Northrop Grumman expansion, $4.2 million in additional funds to recruit a NASA Shared Services Center and other economic development projects that secure more than 3,500 Mississippi
jobs.

"The Legislature can secure thousands of jobs for Mississippians through a brief Special Session on bonds," said Governor Barbour. "These projects create jobs which provide tax revenue that will help us pay off these bonds.

During the Musgrove Administration, the State pledged to issue bonds for expansion and upgrading of facilities at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, and the Legislature authorized $48 million in general obligation bonds for improvements at the Jackson County shipyard. Northrop Grumman pledged to match the State's investment by a two-to-one ratio and committed to creating 2,000 new jobs. For a year-and-a half, the State has failed to authorize the additional bonds that were promised to Northrop Grumman as part of the multi-year agreement.

"We cannot risk waiting until the Regular Session to authorize these bonds because Northrop Grumman's board will set the company's 2005 budget at a meeting next week. We must not risk jeopardizing the future of the expansion," said Governor Barbour. Governor Barbour said recent developments concerning the NASA Shared Services Center facility also need to be addressed before January. "The leadership at Stennis and the Mississippi Development Authority believe Mississippi has an excellent chance to win the bid to build a facility at Stennis to house the proposed NASA Shared Services Center and create more then 500 new jobs,"
said Governor Barbour. According to MDA officials, NASA has decided to go to a different competitive RFP process from the procedure originally announced and upon which Mississippi's original bond issue was predicated. The State must now amend its proposal by $4.2 million before January, when NASA reviews the bid proposals.

Other economic development projects in the bond package include: 250 jobs through a $3 million expansion of Viking Range Corporation in Greenwood; 125 jobs in emerging technology through $10 million for Timtek in East Mississippi; 90 jobs through $500,000 in improved technology at Pharmapak in Kemper County; 100 jobs though $8 million in improved facilities at Baxter Healthcare Corporation in Cleveland; an undetermined number of jobs through support of the UMC Cancer Institute in Jackson; and thousands of Mississippi jobs through $11 million in military communities improvement projects needed to avoid potential federal base closures.

In addition to the specific projects, $16 million is included to aid the state's job creation efforts by replenishing MDA incentive funds that have been depleted this year.

 


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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741