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Special session?

MBJ Editorial

News of a possible special legislative session this summer, which will address economic development issues, was met with mixed feelings in the Mississippi business community last week.

Under most circumstances, special sessions come about from political posturing or failure to work efficiently during the months when the Legislature is usually in session. However, in this case, we believe that such a session is well advised.

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, who mentioned the session’s possibility during a luncheon meeting in Jackson April 3, said that Mississippi needs to revamp its efforts in economic development. Such a move, he thinks, will lure new industries to the state and invigorate job growth.

We are anxious to see where the state’s economic development efforts under Musgrove, and Department of Economic and Community Development executive director J.C. Burns,

a Musgrove appointee, will

take Mississippi.

Our state has seen unprecedented growth in the past decade, but how much of that was a result of the coming of the gaming industry, rather than rock-solid, long-range, diversified planning, is debatable. It is our hope that Musgrove will foster public-private partnerships, local involvement and a “big picture” approach to economic development which positions Mississippi as a player in the global economy, instead of simply the last bastion of cheap labor in the U.S.

Whatever the outcome of the governor’s economic development plans or a possible special session later this year, Mississippi business and industry must play an active role in the process.

Don’t sit on the sidelines and watch. Let your voice be heard as we work together for economic improvement, inclusion and expansion in Mississippi.

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