A dispute about the effectiveness of tax credits held up the jobs bill this legislative session, until the final day of the session. The House sponsor says he really didn’t mind the session-long debate in the Senate, really.
Rep. Tim Flook (R-Liberty) swears he didn’t.
Flook sponsored HB 191 , guiding it to passage in the House in early February. He then waited and watched as the Senate bogged down on the issue of tax credits. Flook tried a scaled-down version of the bill. That went nowhere. He then turned to a bill focusing on tax credits. Same result. The jobs bill was the top priority of legislative leaders and Governor Nixon.
Finally, the Senate picked up and passed HB 191, after much revision, the original bill.
Flook says it’s wise to spend time discussing the proper role of tax credits.
"And reviewing our incentives to make sure we’re not going to be engaged in corporate welfare and that’s very important," Flook said. "What you’ve seen in other states, with their budget problems, there are a lot of reasons that led to the budget problems that they have and we don’t. But one of them is where they don’t police their programs well enough to ensure that they’re not really engaging in just the subsidy of an industry and really getting a true investment and return."
Flook says the jobs bill is a good combination of job training to help the unemployed find other work and business incentives to lure jobs to the state. He says it should help many pending big projects. Flook projects the bill will create 2,000 or more jobs.