Mississippi bill to pay MDA director with private funds

By Laura Tillman/The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Senate has passed a bill to allow the director of the Mississippi Development Authority to be paid with money raised from private entities.

The bill does not cap the MDA director’s salary. If the salary exceeds 150 percent of the governor’s salary, only the portion below that amount would be paid with state money.

The MDA director is charged with bringing more jobs to the state.

Gov. Phil Bryant told The Associated Press he supports the bill and Mississippi must hire a top-tier MDA director to fight the unemployment rate. Bryant said that those qualified for MDA positions can typically earn far more in the private sector because of their business experience.

Bryant says he did not believe the private funds would cause a conflict of interest.