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Deal To State Lawmakers: Don't Push 'Amazon-Centric' Bills This Session

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal at a 2016 news conference
announcing a distribution hub for UPS

Georgia's outgoing governor has a message for the state's General Assembly: Do not propose giving Amazon any more incentives for its $5B second headquarters project.

Gov. Nathan Deal told an audience during a Georgia Chamber of Commerce event this morning that he wants state lawmakers to not cobble together any “Amazon-specific” bills in the new session, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports.

“Rest assured, we made a strong, highly competitive offer,” Deal said during the annual Eggs and Issues breakfast at the Georgia World Congress Center. "What we should be doing is focusing on those areas that have made us attractive to Amazon."

His comments come weeks after the state submitted a proposal for Amazon's HQ2 project, one that will award the winning city with up to 50,000 high-paying jobs over the next decade. While it still remains publicly unknown what Georgia offered Amazon, it was previously reported that the incentive package could top $1B.

Amazon set off an international firestorm last year when it released a request for proposals for a proposed second headquarters location, this one not in Seattle, where it would need upward of 8M SF of office.

While Georgia is among more than 200 cities and states that have answered the RFP, many experts suggest the Atlanta region could be a favorite to land the project. Various sites in metro Atlanta have been offered up for the project, including The Gulch in Downtown Atlanta, which is being eyed by Los Angeles-based CIM Group for a major redevelopment that could encompass more than 9M SF of office.

Deal hinted that Amazon's decision process is still early, and that the online retailing giant may not even have a short list when the state's General Assembly ends in March, according to the ABC.

"If Georgia makes the short list, I will call a special session so we can make whatever statutory changes are necessary," he said.