We’re learning a little more about what Ford plans to do with the Claycomo plant if the legislature approves a tax incentive program in this special session. Senator Lu Ann Ridgeway of Smithville, who has the factory in her district, says Ford executives have told her the company will gut the building where Explorers and Mariners are now made and build entirely new facilities to produce a new line of vehicles. .
But one version of the so-called Ford bill is stuck in a Senate committee and is being held by a committee chairman who says he wants to kill it. Ridgeway has introduced another proposal that she thinks will not need to go to that committee. However nothing’s going to happen with her bill until next week at the earliest.
The tax incentive would be underwritten by savings made in the alteration of the state pension plan for workers hired after next January first. The House and Senate have approved differing approaches. Senate leaders plan to return next Thursday, hoping to get a final version of the pension bill passed, thus clearing the way for the economic development, or “Ford,” bill to move.