A major roadblock to legislative consideration of the automotive jobs tax incentive bill in the State Senate has been overcome. Senate Leader Charlie Shields has temporarily removed Senator Chuck Purgason from his chairmanship of Senate Committee on Government Accountability and Fiscal Oversight.

Purgason has refused to let the bill come to a vote in his committee during the special session, and has vowed to kill it.

“Chuck is a good friend and senator,” Shields said in a press release. “Unfortunately, his philosophies and decision not to vote on this bill hinder Missouri from competing for jobs in today’s world. Some may not like it, but we must pursue tax-incentive programs to compete with other states to keep and bring new jobs to Missouri. Until Washington D.C., does something to create a level playing field; it is our job as our state’s leaders to keep Missouri competitive in economic development in the reality we face.”

Shields says he’ll reinstate Purgason to his chairmanship after the special session. 

“Sen. Purgason is a consistent, well-respected chairman, but in this circumstance, I believe taking action to protect thousands of Missourians’ jobs is the right thing to do,” Shields wrote.

The committee will meet Tuesday morning and is expected to send the bill to the full senate for debate beginning at mid-day.  Purgason and others opposed to the bill are expected to speak at length against it.  Senate leaders say the session could run late into the night Tuesday night but they are confident the bill can be sent to the House.

The Missourinet’s Brent Martin talked with Purgason before his removal from the Chairmanship and found Purgason unwilling to bend–and unwilling to say if he will filibuster the bill when the Senate begins debate on it tomorrow.

Brent Martin talks to Sen. Purgason