The State Senate debated an omnibus economic development bill that includes an expansion of the Quality Jobs program late into the night, but failed to pass the legislation. SB 45 has undergone several changes since it was first introduced. And, it will go through more before the bill actually gets a vote.
There are numerous supporters of tax credits, but tax credits also have their opponents.
Senator John Griesheimer (R-Washington) says this has been a very difficult bill to craft because of the compromises required. He says he is still trying to find compromise, but cannot say what it will take to reach that goal. He says the Senate must come together to do what is needed to improve the economic climate and to create jobs in Missouri.
That will require the chamber to come up with legislation that satisfies Senator Jason Crowell (R-Cape Girardeau) who is not a fan of tax credits. He has no trouble criticizing the lobbyists who patrol the halls outside the Senate.
"What the Gucci suits and the alligator shoes have figured out is that if you want your money don’t go through the appropriations process," said Crowell during debate. "Either go through the Missouri Development Finance Board, where we can’t do anything or set up a tax credit, put a low cap on it, and come back each and every year and we’ll raise the cap."
Negotiators will work to find that elusive compromise, with the huge economic development bill probably returning to the Senate next week.