House Bill 983 would provide Huntington Ingalls Industries with $45 million from state bonds. The bill says the funds are for capital improvements, investments and upgrades for the shipyard.
The bill passed the full House and is now headed for the Senate.
This isn’t the first time legislators have borrowed money on the taxpayers’ credit card to fund improvements as the shipyard, as the state has borrowed $307 million for Ingalls improvements since 2004.
Last year, the legislature added $45 million to fund improvements at the shipyard to the “Christmas Tree” bond bill for various items.
Huntington Ingalls Industries received $45 million in 2017 from state taxpayers, $45 million in 2016, $20 million in 2015, $56 million in 2008, $56 million in 2005 and $40 million in 2004.
The company leases the land for its Pascagoula shipyard from the state and is exempt from property taxes. It is one of south Mississippi’s largest employers, with 11,000 workers.
Huntington Ingalls’ Pascagoula yard builds Arleigh Burke class destroyers, America class amphibious warfare ships, San Antonio class amphibious dock ships for the Navy and the Legend class national security cutter for the U.S. Coast Guard.
The yard is also competing to build the Navy’s next frigate and several new Coast Guard heavy icebreakers.
Ingalls also has a shipyard in Newport News, Virginia that builds Gerald Ford class aircraft carriers and Virginia class submarines. The company earned $8.2 billion in revenue in 2018 and was awarded $9.8 billion in new contracts in 2018, bringing the company’s total contract backlog to $23 billion.
Contract awards for Ingalls in the fourth quarter of 2018 included a $931 million contract for the construction of the 10th and 11th Legend class cutters and an $883 million contract for construction of an Arleigh Burke class destroyer. The yard also received a $1.4 billion contract for another San Antonio class ship.
Ingalls spent $202,400 on lobbying efforts at the Legislature in 2018. You can find the reports from the Secretary of State’s website here and here.