"Momentum Mississippi" Gets Action

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The first day of the special session ended Tuesday with the House in a position to invite compromise negotiations on an economic development package being pushed by the governor.

The House and Senate passed their own versions of Momentum Mississippi. The only difference between the two was $28 million in bonds that was included in the Senate bill, but not in the House.

The Senate version passed unanimously in that chamber within an hour after the session convened at noon. The House passed its version 111-to-four. The Senate later voted on the House bill and reinserted the bond language, setting the stage for negotiations.

House Speaker Billy McCoy says he wants Governor Haley Barbour and Senate leadership to start a dialogue with House Ways and Means Chairman Percy Watson.

Momentum Mississippi is a plan designed to change the state's current incentives so existing businesses, high-tech industries, telemarketers and others can take advantage of tax credits. The bond money would go toward grant and loan programs.

Watson said he chose to leave out the bonds to ensure the bill would make it out of his committee and be approved on the House floor. He says as the legislative process continues, bonds may re-enter the picture.

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