An economic development bill, designed to lure more jobs to Missouri, is in serious trouble, because the House refuses to negotiate further compromises with the Senate.
House sponsor of HB 327 , Rep. Ron Richard (R-Joplin) leads the House to refuse to enter into a second conference with Senators on Governor Blunt’s top jobs bill. The bill’s major feature is an enhancement of Missouri’s Quality Jobs Program, the state’s number one economic development program. It contains several other provisions as well. The tax incentives in the bill are estimated to cost $115 million.
Senate sponsor, John Griesheimer (R-Washington), refused to sign the conference committee report. Griesheimer says he can’t sell the bill as is to the Senate; that he doesn’t have the 18 votes needed to approve legislation. He has asked Richard to return to the negotiating table for further talks.
Richard has refused. He has told House colleagues that this is a "defining moment" and that the House must stand up to the Senate. Richard says that the Senate should approve the measure passed overwhelmingly by the House and not seek further conference.
Griesheimer expresses surprise at Richard’s stance and says asking for multiple conferences is not unusual. Griesheimer calls HB 327 an absolutely important bill. He acknowledges the two chambers are in a stand-off right now, saying "I guess they’ve got to do what they’ve got to do and I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do."