Governor Blunt has called the legislature into special session to deal with "an immediate economic threat," as he puts it.
Some senators are asking, "What threat?"
The special session call refers to an "extraordinary occasion that exists in the state of Missouri" and says action of the legislature is necessary concerning Missouri’s economic development.
Governor Blunt refers in the call to "an immediate economic threat to the well-being of the economy of the state."
Without commenting on the redundancy of the economic threat to the economy, Senate leader Michael Gibbons concedes that the extraordinary session is a matter of personal perspective. Gibbons says the only truly extraordinary situation warranting a special session during his time in the legislature was the 1993 flood. But he says ‘extraordinary" is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder is Governor Blunt.
It should be noted that this kind of language is not uncommon in calls for special sessions. Columbia Senator Chuck Graham is one of the skeptics. He asks the sponsor of the economic development bill what the "immediate economic threat" might be if the economic development bill is not approved. Sponsor John Griesheimer, from Washington, the Chairman of the Senate Economic Development Committee, says thousands of jobs are "backed up" because the legislature has not passed the economic development bill that includes an expansion of the Quality Jobs Program.
The Quality jobs program gives tax credits for companies creating good-paying jobs, especially in disaster areas, and for small businesses. This proposal increases the amount of tax credits the state can give.
The House will take up the bill this week. The Senate hopes to pass it next week.