Tennessee Lawmakers Set to Return to Nashville for Upcoming Special Session


Lawmakers from across the state are set to return to Nashville for the upcoming special session, aimed to pass incentives for a new Ford development.

Governor Bill Lee called the special session, which will begin on October 18, last month and is urging the legislators to approve nearly $500 million in incentives.

The decision by the automobile manufacturer will invest a total of $5.6 billion in the area, as the group builds a 3,600-acre campus called Blue Oval City. Additionally, the investment will bring approximately 5,800 new jobs in West Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Former House Speaker Beth Harwell acknowledged that she believed some lawmakers may view the incentives as “welfare” to the company.

“Well, I think some members feel strongly that this is labeled corporate welfare that we’re picking winners and losers in the private sector, and is this really fair for the existing companies we don’t give these special privileges to,” she told WKRN.

However, the former state lawmaker also described that the investment will bring jobs and attention to an area that has been “ignored.”

“This is a part of our state that has been underdeveloped, they will say they’ve been ignored,” Harwell continued. “They’ve been trying for some time to develop a workforce and have something that will bring jobs and money and revenue into those rural counties.”

“Again, some taxpayers simply don’t like these types of things, and I understand their concerns, but if we’re going to do it as a state we better make sure that the taxpayers get everything we have promised them.”

In connection with the new plant, the state of Tennessee will develop a new Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) in partnership with the site, which will be located at the Memphis Regional Megasite and will provide students with education and training designed in conjunction with Ford.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]





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6 Thoughts to “Tennessee Lawmakers Set to Return to Nashville for Upcoming Special Session”

  1. Kevin

    I hear the price tag is now up to 880 million. And I bet before the first battery rolls out of that plant, Tennessee citizens will be on the hook for at least 1.2 BILLION!

    Honestly, I can’t see many legislators voting against this give away, BUT if we don’t get a special session AND get vaccine mandates within the private sector banned, EVERY SINGLE LEGISLATOR NEEDS TO BE CHALLENGED AND VOTED OUT!

  2. Faithy

    As per usual Governor Lee is truly a right now and I don’t know why President Trump endorsed him. He is giving away corporate welfare by special session, but us we people who are fighting vaccine and mask mandates don’t qualify to get a special session through him. This is where his priorities are! Primary him hard! Ford is a lefty Company. Please don’t be deceived, Lee doesn’t care about social conservatism. Doesn’t look like he cares about fiscal conservatism oh, but he is the Kristi Noem Rhino Supreme of Tennessee!

  3. 83ragtop50

    Isn’t it absolutely amazing that Mr. Lee will bend over backwards to twist the Assemblies arm to sale taxpayers down the river for a big company BUT has completely refused to support calling a special session to deal with all of the COVID madness? Is Ford going to pay the cost of the special session?

    I believe it shows exactly where his priorities lie and they are not with us citizens.

  4. Truthy McTruthFace

    how about a ban on covid mandates?

    why are these so-called conservatives so asleep in this issue?

  5. 83ragtop50

    The regions has been “ignored” because it is a slum. Throwing tax dollars at it has not helped and neither will throwing away gobs of money to Ford or any other company change that.

    Regardless of Harwell’s opinion, this would be corporate welfare on steroids. $500 million. How about just sending every man, woman and child who is a Tennessee citizen $50 and call it a day?

    1. Cannoneer2

      TNJ says it’s now $884 million.