Bryant Signs Four Economy Related BillsBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 14 May 2012 04:41pm |
A new set of laws will take effect this summer that supporters say will improve Mississippi's business climate and workforce. MPB’s Jeffrey Hess reports that Governor Phil Bryant has signed four economy related bills into law.
Surrounded by dozens of pro-business advocates, Governor Phil Bryant signed a set of bills that he believes will help energize the state economy.
The bills offer businesses tax credits, changes the worker's compensation system, and allows high school students to take job training classes at community colleges.
Following the signings, Bryant called the recent legislative session the most pro-business in modern Mississippi history.
"I think back to Governor Hugh White who balanced agriculture with industry. And I don't think since that time that we have had anything that would even amount to what the legislature has been able to do this session," Bryant said.
The laws, particularly the workman's comp changes and the tax credits to businesses to help offset the inventory tax, were high priorities for industry in Mississippi.
Jim Barksdale, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority, says the bills make Mississippi more competitive.
"All of these bills are designed to help the Mississippi business sector in a variety of ways. Make it easier to do business. Make it less expensive to do business. (And) providing a better work force for these businesses," Barksdale.
But there are concerns that the changes to worker's comp will make it harder for injured employees to receive money and about the annual 120-million dollar price tag of the inventory tax credits
Senator Hob Bryan of Amory argued against the inventory tax credits during floor debate.
"How can we tell our schools 'just hang in there one more year. The worst is over it is getting better' when we are giving all this revenue away? How is it that we can tell our community colleges, our universities, our college students who are having to pay more and more tuition 'we're sorry. we just doing the best we can' but we have got enough money for this," Bryan said.
All the bills will take effect July first.
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