Port of Gulfport bill signed

GULFPORT, MS (AP) - Legislation that removes the Port of Gulfport and its $570 million post-Hurricane Katrina expansion and renovation from state government oversight has been signed by the governor.

House Bill 1091 took effect with Gov. Phil Bryant's signature this past week.

The bill exempts the Port of Gulfport from state-agency bidding and purchasing oversight and declares it to be its own governing authority.

The attorney general's office had said the port should have been under Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration.

Supporters said the port has always been its own governing authority and already has to follow state bid laws and answer to various state and federal agencies. They say the port doesn't need more state bureaucracy slowing projects down.

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