It appears they weren’t done.

An economic development bill, thought dead a week ago, has not only been revived, but approved and sent to the governor. The House has decided to take an unusual move to approve the $103 million dollar business incentive package.

Rep. Ron Richard (R-Joplin) declared a week ago that SS SCS HCS HB 327 carrying an enhancement of Missouri’s top economic development tool had reached an impasse. That is, until he decided on a different strategy. Richard rejected a report written by a House-Senate conference committee and returned to the bill the Senate had approved. Richard asked the House to pass that measure, allowing him to by-pass any more negotiating sessions with the Senate. It was a strategy endorsed by House Speaker Rod Jetton (R-Marble Hill) who said, "The best part is, we do not have to worry about talking to the Senate anymore."

House and Senate negotiators had failed to reach a compromise last week. Richard decided he couldn’t negotiate with the Senate anymore and had declared that he was done with talking and would let the bill die. The bill though contains enhancements of the state’s top economic development tool: the Quality Jobs program. It also has a version of the program for the smallest of businesses as well as an enterprise tax credit, all priorities of Governor Blunt.

Informal talks had been ongoing at the Capitol, but produced little movement. Richard said he wanted a better bill, but saw no other choice than the strategy he took.

The Senate loaded down the bill with a multitude of tax incentives for a variety of industries. The bill includes a cattle tax credit, a film production tax credit, a seed capital tax credit, among other things.

The bill now goes to Governor Blunt who will have to decide whether he can accept the various amendments to get the business tax incentives he wants.

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