One major controversy has been taken off the table as the special legislative session resumes this week. But some wild cards remain.

Lawmakers return to the Capitol tomorrow to begin what they hope will be the last two days of the special legislative session. Senator Jason Crowell’s pullback from his demand that a special investment board be established to manage two state employees pension plans has eliminated the major barrier between house and senate agreement on the proposal.

But the Senate still has opponents to the Ford tax incentive bill who want to keep it from passing unless hundreds of small businesses get the same tax breaks.

Senate leader Charlie Shields hopes the Senate can get past opposition from Senator Chuck Purgason, who has vowed to kill the bill, and other opponents and wrap up the session at midweek.

Governor Nixon says the pension bill’s passage is important to finance the Ford bill’s tax incentives…but the Ford bill is the real priority….and passage this week is an urgent matter. “Anything that goes beyond that continues to put at risk, in an even far greater way, these jobs,” he says.

Shields expects a long day and maybe, a night, tomorrow when the Senate debates the Ford bill. Purgason and other opponents of it are expected to extend the discussion for several hours.

 Hear Bob Priddy’s story :60 mp3