Barbour sets Friday special session for bond issue

August 29, 2011 9:03:00 PM



JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and top lawmakers said they''ll reveal details later this week about job-creation incentives the Legislature will consider during a special session Friday. 




Barbour said Monday that he''s calling the House and Senate back to the Capitol for what he hopes will be a one-day session to handle at least one economic development bond issue. 




House Speaker Billy McCoy, a Democrat, said the Republican governor had sworn him and other lawmakers to secrecy about the project. Barbour said he would release details to the public on Wednesday. 




"We''re excited, as always, that we''ll have something that has a prospect and probability of bringing good jobs to the state," McCoy said Monday in a phone interview from his home in Rienzi. "One thing about Gov. Barbour -- he can share with me and I won''t say a word." 




Barbour would not say how many jobs would be created, what kinds of companies are involved, what part of the state they would go to or what kind of incentives the state would provide. 




The special session begins at 10 a.m. Friday, leading into the Labor Day weekend. House and Senate committees are expected to meet Thursday to discuss the project or projects. 




"I think the membership will be eager to get in, get the details of it, discuss it, vote hopefully if we can for that project and then move on," Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant said Monday. 




The state issues bonds as long-term debt to finance big projects such as construction or repair of highways or public buildings, or to provide incentives to lure companies to locate here. 




After legislators authorize bond debt, bonds are issued by the state Bond Commission, made up of the governor, the state treasurer and the attorney general. 




The commission''s next meeting is Sept. 19. Barbour said the special session is timed to come before that meeting "so that these large projects can get started this winter, if the Legislature approves them." 




Only the governor can call a special session, and he controls the agenda. Barbour has used special sessions for economic development projects in the past. He is in the final year of his second term. 




The Legislature''s regular sessions begin each January. This is the first special session since legislators concluded their three-month regular session in early April. 




Barbour said he does not expect to add any other issues, such as congressional and legislative redistricting, to the special session agenda. 




Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.