Rep. Adrienne Wooten, D-Ridgeland Credit: House of Representatives

After passing earlier in the month, but held for reconsideration, a bill that would form a new infrastructure improvement district in Jackson was amended and sent to the Senate.

House Bill 1226 would create the Capitol Complex Improvement District with a five-member board of directors and an executive director to oversee the district and a 11-member advisory board.

During debate on the bill Feb. 1, Rep. Adrienne Wooten, D-Jackson, protested, saying that members of the Jackson delegation had not been briefed on the bill even though its sponsor, Republican Rep. Bill Denny, is from Jackson.

Under the original bill, two board members would be appointed by the governor, two by the lieutenant governor and one by the mayor of Jackson. Two of the board members are to be from Hinds County, with the remainder from Hinds, Rankin or Madison counties. The state would place 12.5 percent of sales tax generated in the city of Jackson to a special fund for infrastructure maintenance and repairs.

When the House reconsidered the legislation Thursday morning, Wooten offered and won support for an amendment that would require that all appointees from the governing commission to be from the city of Jackson and that the Jackson City Council, not the mayor, would appoint a member to the 11-member advisory board.

In addition, the amendment required that the district’s leaders would have to consult with disadvantaged business enterprises; the Jackson Police Department would provide protection for all special events; the district would be responsible for maintaining all the infrastructure within the district; and 12.5 percent of the special diversion would go back to Jackson for police and fire protection.

Ryan L. Nave, a native of University City, Mo., served as Mississippi Today's editor-in-chief from May 2018 until April 2020. Ryan began his career with Mississippi Today February 2016 as an original member of the editorial team. He became news editor August 2016. Ryan has a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked for Illinois Times and served as news editor for the Jackson Free Press.