One of big priorities of the legislative session became a casualty of last-day efforts to provide financial incentives to keep car company jobs in Missouri.

Tax Credit reform got shoved to the curb in the last 24 hours of the session when efforts intensified to pass a bill providing Ford with incentives to keep building cars at its Claycomo plant. But those incentives had to be paid for  when the state is seriously short of cash. The answer was in a proposed bill making major adjustments in state employees retirement systems.

The House had the pension bill. The Senate had the Ford incentive proposal. Senate floor leader Kevin Engler says the Governor took tax credit reform out of the mix in a late Thursday meeting by promising special focus on that issue later so lawmakers could focus on the Ford incentive. He says Nixon committed to having a blue ribbon panel take an extensive look at all tax credits and to consider a special session on tax credit reform.

But the House refused last-hours consideration of the pension reform bill. The Senate would not pass the incentives bill without the financing that would come from pension reform. That failure apparently does not kill the special tax credit reform study although Governor Nixon is vague about how that would happen and says there won’t be any special session unless there is guaranteed agreement on what the reforms should be. But he says the state cannot afford to leave tax credits as they are.

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