Special session to make way for new companies and jobs - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Special session to make way for new companies and jobs

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It's a race against the clock as lawmakers put the final touches on a deal and Thursday afternoon the senate finance committee met to discuss it.

"Everyday that we can get new industry is a great day," said Senate Finance Chairman Dean Kirby.

The deal is a combined $175 million in incentive packages for two high-tech companies ready to set up shop in Mississippi, but first the incentives must be approved by the legislature, which Kirby says should go smoothly.

"We're not giving anyone anything, I want everyone to understand that. What we're doing is we're going to do some bonds for loans for some of these industries," said Kirby.

The two companies both deal with energy, HCL CleanTech converts biomass to sugars that can be utilized as industrial bioproducts. Calisolar produces silicon to be used in a number of industries, including automotive, energy and electronics.

Both companies are expected to make a combined investment of about $1.6 billion in the state and with them come about 1,800 new jobs.

"These are not jobs that other states turned down, I want you to understand, these are jobs that we competed to get," said Kirby.

The meetings at the capitol are less than 24 hours before the full legislature convenes for a special session to take up the proposals which Governor Haley Barbour says is worth the cost of a one day session to taxpayers.

"These two companies are consistent with the focus we have had in advanced manufacturing with advanced materials," said Barbour.

"This is a great deal from Mississippi and it'll not just create jobs, it'll bring enthusiasm and make other companies realize all over the United States that Mississippi is the place to be," said Kirby.

Once the legislation is approved, Kirby says the industries which will have operations across the state, and they will be operational within a year.

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