Preview: 2011 Missouri Special Session
JEFFERSON CITY - In advance of the special session on Tuesday, Gov. Nixon is touting job-creation and export incentives.
On tap is the Made in Missouri Jobs Package, which would offer tax breaks to qualifying companies that has a percentage of sales rooted in exports. Gov. Nixon has toured Missouri throughout the week in attempt to push the jobs package.
The Governor is calling the plan bi-partisan, but initial reaction by some lawmakers appears it will not pass scot-free. Sen. Chuck Purgason, R-Caulfield, told Missouri Digital News earlier this week that several lawmakers are still trying to find a compromise version of the bill.
Another big economic development bill on the table is China Hub. The bill would offer $360 million in tax breaks to businesses looking to get involved in a trade hub at Lambert Airport in St. Louis.
Governor Nixon stressed the importance of Missouri's involvement in the global market.
"We have to be world citizens, it's not the same world as when I was a kid in southern Missouri, it's just not and we're going to have to compete and trade world wide, and we have a great base to build on in the state of Missouri," said Gov. Nixon.
While China has been mentioned more than other countries, the bill would be open to any international countries trading through St. Louis. Gov. Nixon mentioned South America, among other areas, as a future source of trade.
Opposition is concerned because the bill eliminates tax credits for low-income seniors and disabled people who are renting a residence.
Gov. Nixon insisted that any revenue generated from eliminating the tax breaks would need to eventually circulate back into senior or disabled programs, in order to get his seal of approval.
Lawmakers debated the economic development package at the end of the regular legislative session, but failed to seal a deal before the session ended.
Governor Nixon told reporters Wednesday, he expects the special session will last less than two weeks.
When asked if the special session would be complete in two weeks, the Governor offered the following response:
"You know, you'd like to get it done in that timeframe, just the cost to the taxpayers, plus the need to continue to work together towards getting economic solutions and creating jobs and careers here in the Show-Me-State," said Gov. Nixon.
State law mandates the session can last a maximum of 60 days.
Lawmakers will also consider a bill that would hand over control of the St. Louis Police Department to the city.
Also on the agenda, is a bill that would move the state's presidentia l primary, which could possibly jockey Missouri for a more significant role in national elections.
The session begins Tuesday, September 6. KOMU 8 will have comprehensive coverage from our state capitol, both on-air and online.