House Republicans claim they have wasted no time in working on job creation legislation this year. Democrats have their doubts.
House Speaker Steven Tilley, a Republican from Perryville, stated prior to the legislature leaving on its spring break that the House has acted quickly to improve the state economic climate.
“All the business groups came together and they came up with the ‘Fix the Six’ proposals and they basically said to us if you can fix these six problems that we think we can create jobs,” Tilley told reporters during a Capitol news conference. “I think there was no secret that this caucus’ top priority was addressing the 9 1/2 % unemployment that we have in this state and trying to put people to work.”
A group of business leaders held a news conference in the Capitol at the beginning of the year to announce the “Fix the Six” proposals. The six seek to reduce business costs by tipping discrimination law in favor of business, keeping a lid on workers’ compensation pay-outs, reining in lawsuit awards, removing the inflation-adjustment in the state minimum wage law, eliminating the franchise tax and using bonds to repay a federal loan used to prop up the state unemployment insurance trust fund.
The top Democrat in the House, Minority Leader Mike Talboy of Kansas City, stated during his post-break news conference that he’s encouraged by the demeanor displayed in the first half of the session.
“Where I am disappointed is that we have not had one substantive jobs bill,” Talboy told Capitol reporters.
Talboy dismissed the Fix the Six as economic development.
“I don’t see it as job creation,” Talboy responded when asked about the Republican agenda. “I think it may make an environment that is more business friendly, but it definitely seems to be very anti-worker.”
Talboy says the legislature needs to being pushing specific job creation measures, such as those aimed at luring data centers to the state and attracting life science firms to Missouri.