Two bills requested by Governor Nixon have passed in the Missouri House during this special legislative session, but neither is in the form the governor prefers.

In fact, questions have been raised about whether the House has acted within the scope of the special session call. The governor’s chief of staff has issued a letter warning that expansion of a bill that would provide up to $100 million to the Ford Motor Company to keep its Claycomo plant in Kansas City at full capacity makes it vulnerable to a lawsuit. Some Democrats in the House picked up that theme during debate, accusing some members of endangering nearly 4,000 jobs simply to push their pet projects.

Despite such warnings, the House approved an expansion of the bill to include tax breaks to lure data storage centers to Missouri as well as an extension of the Homestead Preservation Tax Credit. The broadening of the measure also places it on shaky ground with the Senate, which has been lukewarm to the auto manufacturing bill and hostile to tax credits in general.

The House has also approved overhaul of the state worker pension system. Enough changes have been made to the bill to nearly make it certain that the Senate will reject it in favor of its own version. House members did lower the number of years a state worker would have to be employed to be vested in the system, from ten years to five.

The House approved the two  bills after the Fiscal Review Committee met. There was no discussion prior to the votes. The Ford bill, HB 2, passed 125-19. The pension bill, HB 1, passed 92-54.