Barbour mulling special legislative session

JACKSON – A spokesman for Gov. Haley Barbour confirmed Tuesday that a special session of the state Legislature is being considered.
Various sources have indicated Barbour might call a special session – for an unnamed economic development project – before the end of October.
“One is being discussed,” Barbour spokesman Dan Turner said.
House Speaker Billy McCoy, D-Rienzi, said, “The governor has a (nice) economic development project. He will have to answer when and where. It is not enormous, but it is nice.”
McCoy would give no other details, but to say, “I don’t see any need of us being there for more than half a day for the special session if nothing else comes up… We want to cooperate with the governor on this. We will do that.”
McCoy said if other items are added to the agenda the special session could take longer.
He said he hopes the Legislature can “take care of the economic development project and get out of town.”
But Turner would not limit the possibilities for the still-uncalled special session.
“I don’t know what will be included or anything like that,” Turner said. “…If the details are nailed down, we will have one.”
Turner said he “wouldn’t rule out” the possibility the special session might include work on the budget woes facing the state.
Barbour made one round of budget cuts in September because of sluggish state tax collections. He said last week he would have to make more cuts, but indicated that he could not make all of he needed adjustments to the budget because of constraints put on his ability to cut by state law.
In a statement last week, the Republican governor said, “It is likely the Legislature will have to deal with the need for more cuts,” but indicated that could be done during the 2010 regular session.
There have been news reports about the plans of a Chinese citizen to create a new company building energy efficient vehicles at a plant in Tunica County. But it is far from certain that the special session is being discussed for that proposed project.
Barbour returned on Oct. 8 from a 13-day trip to Asia where among other things he spoke at a private event in Malaysia, met with business representatives in Japan and toured the Port of Singapore and met with companies doing business with Mississippi and those that might be interested in expanding to Mississippi.

Contact Bobby Harrison at (601) 353-3119 or bobby.harrison@djournal.com.

Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal