Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

JACKSON, Miss (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves signed a invoice Tuesday limiting electrical automotive producers from promoting automobiles in particular person until they open franchised dealerships.

Defying calls from some fellow Republicans within the Legislature to veto the measure, Reeves enacted into legislation Home Invoice 401, launched by Republican Rep. Trey Lamar of Senatobia. The legislation will power electrical automotive firms resembling Tesla and Rivian to promote automobiles by way of franchises somewhat than company-owned shops, which is how they at the moment function.

“Nearly 200 small companies in communities throughout our state are in search of assurances that huge producers can’t simply destroy their companies. That’s honest!” Reeves, a Republican, stated in an announcement posted to social media. “I additionally acknowledge that innovation on this business is inevitable. And with innovation comes new firms with new enterprise fashions. I’m dedicated to seek out long-term options—in an ever altering market.”

The invoice doesn’t limit the sale of electrical automobiles, as folks should purchase them on-line. But when they need to purchase an electrical automotive in particular person, they must drive to the state’s solely Tesla retailer in Brandon, which will probably be allowed to stay open below the brand new legislation. Tesla or some other electrical automotive firm couldn’t open a brand new brick-and-mortar location to promote automobiles until they enter a franchise settlement.

Earlier than the invoice handed in a bipartisan 39-13 vote on March 3, it sparked an intraparty debate amongst GOP lawmakers. Opponents stated it might intervene with the auto market and cease electrical carmakers from bringing new expertise and jobs to the state. Proponents stated the legislation would guarantee all automotive producers, no matter their enterprise mannequin, play by the identical guidelines.

Republican Sen. Brice Wiggins, a Republican from Pascagoula, had hoped Reeves would veto the laws. Lawmakers had been aiming to draw Tesla to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, an space Wiggins known as the state’s financial driver.

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“In at present’s world, when you do not innovate, you lose out. We as a state can not afford to lose out,” Wiggins informed The Related Press on Tuesday. “My vote in opposition to the invoice was a vote for capitalism, competitors and innovation somewhat than for a coverage of protectionism.”

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Michael Goldberg is a corps member for the Related Press/Report for America Statehouse Information Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit nationwide service program that locations journalists in native newsrooms to report on undercovered points. Comply with him on Twitter at twitter.com/mikergoldberg.

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