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Legislature Approves Megasite Improvements

This information is provided courtesy of 28th District State Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, whose district includes Giles and five other counties.

A special session of the Tennessee General Assembly has closed after lawmakers approved legislation addressing funding and oversight of Ford Motor Company’s historic $5.6 billion investment at the Megasite in West Tennessee.

Ford and SK Innovation are set to build a 3,600-acre mega campus called “Blue Oval City” where production of next generation all-electric F Series trucks will begin in 2025.

Tennessee claims nearly 40 percent of the Southeast’s electric vehicle manufacturing jobs and investment, with more than $11.9 billion invested by companies in the state's electric vehicle industry.

More than 15,000 electric vehicles are produced in the state each year, ranking Tennessee No. 1 in the Southeast for electric vehicle manufacturing.

The Center for Economic Research projects Blue Oval City will generate 27,000 new jobs to support the Megasite’s operation, including direct, indirect and induced new jobs.

This will have a substantial long-term economic impact on Tennessee, with an anticipated $1.02 billion in annual earnings, $3.5 billion each year added to the gross state product, and $22.4 million annually in state tax revenues. In addition, construction of the company’s facility in Haywood County will bring in about $178.9 million in state sales and use tax collections.

The impact on West Tennessee will be transformative, beginning with the construction phase. Approximately $1.87 billion in total earnings are related to the multi-year construction activity. It is expected to generate 33,000 temporary direct or indirect jobs supporting the construction period, providing a major boost to the economy.

Senate Bill 8002 provides a $500 million capital grant to incentivize and complete the Megasite.

This is a reimbursement grant which ensures the company will complete their jobs commitment.

Funding will cover infrastructure and improvements to support regional growth, including $40 million to build a new Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) on the Megasite to strengthen Tennessee’s workforce.

In addition, the state will build, own and operate water and wastewater systems to serve the Megasite and locate a second interchange on I-40 to improve traffic flow and support population growth.

Senate Bill 8001 will create the Megasite Authority of West Tennessee to provide services necessary for operation and development of the Megasite.

The Authority, which will be governed by an 11 -member board of directors, will develop, operate, manage, incentivize and promote the Megasite. The authority will oversee the remaining unused 500 acres and continue to promote economic development.

Republican members of the Tennessee Senate and House of Representatives formally issued a call for the third extraordinary session of the 112th General Assembly in accordance with Article 2, Section 8 of the Tennessee Constitution. The session for Oct. 27 will cover issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including overreaching health care mandates.

The special session will consider legislative action related to vaccines, masks, and other restrictions relative to COVID-19, including measures to address the various unconstitutional federal mandates issued by the Biden administration.

President Biden is using the full force of his presidency to mandate two-thirds of American workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 through an emergency Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule.

This includes requiring private employers with more than 100 workers to require vaccination or COVID-19 tests.

Health care workers, federal contractors and the vast majority of federal workers are also required to be vaccinated under Biden’s mandate or face losing their job.

Additionally, consideration of legislation regarding the independent health departments and restrictions on monoclonal antibodies will also be appropriate under the call.

In September, the Biden administration announced intentions to impose new limits to access COVID-19 antibody treatments amid demand in southern states where vaccine rates were lower.

Hensley may be reached at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Suite 742, Nashville, Tenn., 37243, by calling 615-741-3100, or toll free 1-800-449-8366 ext. 13100, or by faxing 615-253-0231

His district address is 855 Summertown Highway, Hohenwald Tenn., 38462, his telephone number is 931-796-2018, his cell phone is 931-212-8823 and e-mail is sen. joey.

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