Statement of Governor Haley Barbour

Special Session
November 18, 2004

"The people of Mississippi have learned today what the real reason was behind the House of Representatives' irresponsible, nine-day delay on our job bonds: racial quotas. After already jeopardizing 2,000 Mississippi jobs, the House leadership today finally allowed a vote on economic development projects -- but only after adding other projects and requiring that work on those projects be done by people based on the color of their skin.

I consulted with the House and Senate leadership before calling the Special Session. I offered a draft of an expansion of the Special Session upon the completion of the economic development issues. I provided a proposal to fund priorities within budget constraints and was consistent in my calls for fiscal responsibility regarding the amount of bond indebtedness the State incurs. I have dealt in good faith during this unnecessarily long Session with a fractured House. While my hand has always been face-up on the table, no one in the House ever mentioned, publicly or privately, that racial quotas were imminent and key to the passage of the bill.

The people of Mississippi do not believe in sanctioning discrimination in the laws we pass and neither do I. I will veto this bill if it comes to my desk carrying the stain of racial quotas.

Racial quotas are not only wrong, but they are not fiscally prudent.
Quotas artificially increase costs to the State of Mississippi by eliminating competition.

Black and white Mississippians should be competing against Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee for new jobs and not against each other. Racial quotas should not be a factor in job creation. The only race I am interested in is the race for more and better jobs for the people of Mississippi."

 


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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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