A $70 million dollar economic development package has been sent to the governor as the House closes the special legislative session.
It didn’t take long for the House to accept changes made by the Senate and approve the jobs bill, SCS HCS HB 1, on a 125-to-19 vote.
Rep. Ron Richard (R-Joplin), the House sponsor, tells colleagues the bill is vital to the economic health of the state, stating that if it isn’t passed the state will lose jobs. The main feature of the bill is the enhancement of the state’s primary tax incentive program: the Quality Jobs Program. The bill raised its cap from $12 million $40 million. The bill also creates a New Markets Tax Credit designed to lure venture capital to Missouri. It creates some other tax credit programs.
Rep. Clint Zweifel (D-Florissant) says the legislature hasn’t paused long enough to thorough study its tax give-aways. He says the legislature hasn’t met a tax break it hasn’t like. Zweifel says the state has already given away $415 million in incentives and is liable for an estimated $400 million that haven’t been cashed in by business.
Sponsor Richard, though, responds that this isn’t the time to pull back on issuing tax credits to lure business here, because Missouri’s neighboring states have become more and more aggressive.
A bill needed to move forward on receiving bids for a major bridge improvement program, HB 2 , was approved by the Senate and didn’t need House action.