A package of tax breaks intended to lure business to Missouri heads to the full House for debate today, the first day of the special session in which the full House gathers at the Capitol.
There has been no need to bring the full House in until today and House leaders hope today is all that is needed to approve HB1 , a $70 million economic development bill. The bill has passed its first hurdle this special legislative session by winning unanimous committee approval. The committee made only minor changes. Sponsor Ron Richard (R-Joplin), chairman of the committee which approved it, accepted one amendment that would require developers receive local governmental approval to qualify for the tax credit to develop tracks of land in distressed areas of the urban core. He rejected an amendment to reduce the amount of land required to receive the tax break.
Governor Blunt vetoed Richard’s original bill. The governor reached a compromise with legislative leaders on a much smaller version and called the legislature into special session to consider the scaled-down version. Even in its slimmer form, the bill contains several tax breaks, including an enhancement of the Quality Jobs program, creating Enhanced Enterprise Zones and creating a beef tax credit pilot program.
The House met in technical session on Monday, with only the leaders and a few members present to introduce the two bills being consider in the special session. Two House committees met Tuesday and approved the bills for floor debate. House leaders plan to suspend rules and approve the bills in one day, sending them to the Senate for consideration next week. If the House follows through with the plan and if the Senate approves the House versions of the bills, they would then go to the governor and the special session would end.