FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 3, 2004

GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR SIGNS FIRST BILL INTO LAW

(Jackson, Miss.) -- Governor Haley Barbour signed House Bill 544, the Tallahatchie County Correctional Authority Bill, into law today making it his first piece of legislation to sign into law as governor.

"By signing this bill, we are demonstrating our willingness to do all we can to save Mississippi jobs. Protecting these 280 existing jobs is just as important as creating new ones," said Governor Barbour. "I am honored that this is the first bill I have signed as Governor."

HB 544 allows the Tallahatchie County Correctional Authority to house inmates, as other private prisons in Mississippi, without restrictions on the different classification of prisoners they can house.

House Corrections Chair Bennett Malone, Senate Corrections Chair Bunky Huggins and House Local and Private Chair Willie Perkins, were instrumental in moving this bill through the legislative process. The local leadership, especially the Tallahatchie County Board of Supervisors, also played a critical role.

"Our goal is to house inmates securely at the least possible cost to taxpayers. I want to encourage legislative leaders that we must also introduce new legislation this session to remove any hindrance or barriers preventing State of Mississippi inmates from being housed in the Tutwiler Facility," said Governor Barbour.

Passing such a bill will continue to protect jobs at this facility and also ensure that the Mississippi taxpayer gets the same deserved savings that other states have realized.

"If the State of Alabama can house prisoners twelve miles from Parchman at 36% less cost than we can house them ourselves, common sense says we need to capture those savings for Mississippi, and today we are paving the way toward that goal," said Governor Barbour.

 


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Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139 Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: 601.359.3150 Fax: 601.359.3741
         

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