I'm visiting today with businessmen and women in Meridian in the hopes specifically that Meridian will be the first one to take advantage of this legislation. I have spoken with Hartley Peavey and he has agreed to put in the sound system for any such venue at cost. We've also met with other business in Mississippi to perform other parts of the construction at cost.
We're hopeful to generate a Mississippi type theater or stadium or open-air venue. Meridian was the genesis of this, and hopefully would be the first one to take advantage.
Star: Now that this has been signed into law, could the city council at their next meeting declare parts of Meridian as entertainment districts?
Hosemann: They can. It's effective July 1. The most likely event is that as soon as y'all complete your municipal elections that this will be on the list of items that the new mayor and city council would want to consider. There have been some discussions about hotels over here and complementary things. This doesn't apply to a hotel unless it's attached to the actual center.
Star: Do you mean physically attached?
Hosemann: Yes. It'd be like a convention center that has a venue.
Star: Last time we spoke, you said you wanted to get a separate business court for Mississippi businesses. Have you made any progress with that?
Hosemann: We did. We had it in legislation in the senate. It died in the senate. We will be back about next year, as part of our limited liability reform package would be a business court system.
It's a relatively small amount of money (to fund the court). In regards to state budget, for example, you're talking about $400,000 to $600,000. So we're trying to devise a way in which the business community would pay for the business court. Of course, if business cases were taken out of the normal rotation, then every court case would have a faster, speedier trial. So there are ancillary benefits that come with this business court system. Additional funds are solely to have three judges, three clerks, and three administrators. There's no bricks and mortar or anything like that.