Will Georgia’s legislators be called in for a special session regarding Amazon?
According to Gov. Nathan Deal, if Georgia is among Amazon’s top three choices, he is prepared to call a special legislative session so lawmakers can pass additional incentives.
“Until such a time as we are given notice that we are on the shortlist of candidates, it would be very unwise for this session of the General Assembly to consume valuable time trying to guess what Amazon is going to do,” said Gov. Deal recently at the annual Eggs & Issues breakfast of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. “Such speculation may in fact do us more harm than good.”
Although details of Georgia’s bid have not been disclosed, the governor reassured those in attendance at the Eggs and Issues breakfast that Georgia made a “strong, highly competitive offer” to Amazon last fall and it could be months before the company narrows its choices.
Metro Atlanta is among the 238 cities and regions in the U.S., Canada and Mexico that submitted proposals last fall for Amazon’s second headquarters and the promise of 50,000 new jobs. Deal said the state wants to offer big incentives to land Amazon’s expansion, which would bring about billions in investment and tens of thousands of jobs, but it would need the Legislators to do that. But don’t expect those issues to be discussed in this regular session of the General Assembly, according to the Governor.
“To those who believe we should instead spend that time passing Amazon-specific legislation, let me assure you that if Georgia makes the list of final three contenders for HQ2, I will call a special session so that we can make whatever statutory changes are required to accommodate a business opportunity of this magnitude,” Deal said. “To do so before we know where we stand would be presumptuous on our part and premature.”
“As we know, there is a time and a season for all things; and when the right time comes, we will focus our full attention and efforts on the success Amazon can enjoy by bringing their second headquarters to Georgia,” said Deal.