HALEY R. BARBOUR
In his eight years as Governor, Haley Barbour made Mississippi a better place to live, work and play through strong support of job creation, schools, health care, energy, safer communities and stronger families.
His approach produced results including $13 billion in investment from new and expanding businesses, significant civil justice reform and prudent management of the state’s health care program. Governor Barbour focused on long-term economic success for Mississippi by supporting innovative manufacturing techniques and he welcomed a variety of energy projects to prepare the state and country for future energy needs.
Before his tenure as Governor, Mississippi had suffered a loss of more than 49,000 manufacturing jobs – a nearly 22% decline in this industry.
Governor Barbour improved the climate for job creation by streamlining government programs, keeping taxes on businesses and families low and enacting meaningful, comprehensive tort reform. He and the Legislature adopted what the Wall Street Journal called “the most comprehensive tort reform legislation in the country.” After tort reform, liability rates were lowered, automobile, homeowner’s and other property insurance rates were reduced, and more than 50 new insurance programs entered the market. Tort reform created more competition, more affordable insurance and more jobs by reducing unnecessary costs for small businesses.
By making Mississippi a desirable business climate, Governor Barbour attracted world-class corporations that provided top-notch jobs requiring advanced skills; PACCAR, Serverstal, GE Aviation, Denbury Resources, Federal Express and Toyota Motor Company.
Governor Barbour supported access to abundant energy supplies and still believes it is critical to Mississippi’s ability to compete in the global marketplace. He also supports reliable energy in all forms – coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear and renewable – and believes it plays a crucial role in attracting industry to the state and continuing to attract high-paying jobs.
During Governor Barbour’s eight years in office, personal per capita incomes in Mississippi rose almost 34%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
In addition, Governor Barbour successfully reformed the state’s Medicaid program to reduce fraud and effectively spend tax dollars while emphasizing preventative care. When faced with increased pension costs, Governor Barbour successfully led the effort for state employees to fund more of the costs to relieve the burden on taxpayers. He also cut state payroll taxes, increased support for job training programs and enacted education reforms to attract more qualified teachers to the classroom.
In the face of the worst natural disaster in American history – Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall on August 29, 2005 – Governor Barbour provided critical leadership helping Mississippians rebuild and recover. Governor Barbour managed $5.4 billion efficiently and effectively to reconstruct public housing, strengthen neighborhoods, aid the Gulf Coast business community and rebuild the Port of Gulfport – an important piece of the state’s economy.