The road ahead for the proposal to encourage Ford to keep making cars at its Claycomo plant has some potholes in it. A senate committee might be one of them.

The senate committee on governmental accountability and fiscal oversight looks at bills to see if the state can afford them. Sometimes the issue is whether the state can afford not to pass them. Sen. Chuck Purgason, a Republican from Caulfield who is also a candidate for US Senate, says small businesses are the key to economic growth.

To hear him talk, one might think the bill giving Ford as much as 150-million dollars in tax incentives is headed for trouble

“I think we need to create a level playing field for all businesses…and not reward one business at the expense of another,” he says, “I really think the direction that we’ve been going of giving bailouts to big companies at the expense of small companies is not the direction we ought to be going.”

Backers of the Ford bill say more than three-thousand jobs at Claycomo and thousands of jobs in parts factories throughout Missouri are at stake. Purgason compares that with his demand that all businesses of all sizes be treated fairly and says he has to look at policies that lead to longterm job growth, a statement that leaves him a lot of wiggle room.