No Cargo Hub for Lambert

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JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have adjourned their 2011 session without passing a bill to overhaul the state's economic development incentives. The demise of the economic development bill came despite the frenzied efforts Friday of lawmakers, business groups and Gov. Jay Nixon's administration. They were trying to forge a compromise between those wanting to curtail Missouri's current tax credits and others wanting to add new incentives for a smattering of businesses.

"We do have all these different things we can export from Missouri whether it be beef or whether it be different agriculture products," Minority House Leader Mike Talboy said of the China air Cargo hub. The hub would have been put in at the Lambert-St. Louis international Airport if the tax incentive bill passed. "We can send [products] over and use that as part of our trade. I think that can open up a whole new market that isn't available right now, and it's right in our back yard."

Despite a similar final-day effort, lawmakers also failed to pass legislation that could have eased the path toward development of a second nuclear power plant in Missouri by allowing consumers to be billed for some of the costs. Several bills did pass on the last day, including one lowering the age to get a concealed gun permit and another renewing a prescription drug program for seniors and the disabled. As for the tax credit bill, Rolla Sen. Dan Brown says the chance for more exports to people across the globe would have helped farmers in his district.

"Well we think it's helpful up and down Interstate 44 and Interstate 70," Brown said. "It's helpful to agriculture. The nice thing about Airtropolis and some of the plans that have been put forward, there's no money up front. These are performance based tax credits."

Senators held up the tax credit bill from going to Governor Jay Nixon's desk. They wanted less savings for businesses benefiting while the House wouldn't go along with that. When asked how frustrated he was that the tax credit bill didn't get passed, Speaker of the House Steven Tilley said, "I think that's a better question for the senate."