NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A special session is now set to hammer out details in the $500 million incentives package for Ford to build a plant in West Tennessee.
The mega-site, which will include Ford’s Blue Oval City, is expected to bring 5,800 jobs to the Memphis area site. This marks one of the largest investments the state has made, but some Republican lawmakers want to use the special session to pass COVID-19 related restrictions.
“I’ll be making that call today to have the legislature come together around funding for Ford Motor Company moving here and the transformation that’s going to mean to Tennessee,” said Governor Bill Lee.
While some Republicans like Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) are “working on, and have drafted legislation related to the prohibition of masks, vaccine mandates & one other COVID issue. “
Lee is doubling down, saying that the special session will be narrowly focused on securing the Ford deal.
“The project is significant in size and scope and so that call to the General Assembly will be limited to issues around the mega-site.”
However, as Republican lawmakers keep up their pressure for a special session regarding masks and other COVID-19 related issues, the governor isn’t ruling it out completely.
The governor’s office issued a release Thursday afternoon for the upcoming special session.
“Our partnership with Ford and SK Innovation will transform West Tennessee, and it’s important we ensure this project has the structure, funding and accountability needed to be successful,” wrote Gov. Lee. “I am calling a special session to secure a lasting impact for Tennesseans, and I thank the legislature for their partnership in an efficient, productive assembly.”
The special session is set to kick off on October 18.