ATLANTA - Gov. Nathan Deal said he will call for a special session of the General Assembly if retail giant Amazon puts Georgia on its short list for the home of its second headquarters.
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 General Assembly to do that.
Since the short list announcement may not come until summer, Deal told Channel 2 political reporter Richard Elliot that he thinks a special session might be needed.
Deal told Elliot on Wednesday that his biggest goal when he took office was to bring jobs and business to Georgia.
“It’d be the cherry on top of the soda,” Deal said.
Deal has largely been successful in luring new business to the state, but what he really wants is to lure Amazon’s East Coast headquarters and the projected $5 billion investment and 50,000 high-paying jobs that come with it.
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Georgia’s official bid is a literal state secret, though most believe it includes business and tax incentives, something that might need legislative approval.
Because the state may not find out until summer if it’s on the short list for HQ 2, Deal announced he will call a special legislative session after that announcement and after state officials speak with Amazon.
He’d rather have lawmakers deal with it then, than deal with it now and possibly make an offer that isn’t as attractive to Amazon as it could be.
“We really harm ourselves sometimes when we try to judge what’s on their mind. I would rather them tell us what’s on their mind, then we can make adjustments accordingly,” Deal said.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle called Amazon’s HQ 2 the biggest economic development deal in U.S. history.
He supports the governor’s call for a special session.
“I am very optimistic and very hopeful that we can land Amazon here in the state,” Cagle said.
The governor said he just wants to get Amazon to Georgia.
“It would be important certainly even if it comes during my administration, if the decision is delayed until after I leave office,” Deal said.
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