House Speaker Steven Tilley/House photo

House Speaker Steven Tilley isn’t sure what to expect on this last day of the legislative session.

A major economic development bill hangs in the balance as negotiators between the House and Senate haggle over specifics. Tilley says the House has come more than half way on the issue, but he says that might not be far enough for some senators.

“And if they decide that they’re supportive of it, I think we’ll have an economic development bill and if they decide that one or two senators are going to obstruct it, then I think the Senate will have made an unwise decision,” Tilley says.

The legislature has debated several economic development incentives, but hasn’t been able to reach agreement on any. Economic development measures still being considered include one to encourage plant science firms to locate in Missouri, another to lure high-tech data centers here and a major package aimed at making Lambert St. Louis Airport a hub for trade with China.

Revamping the tax credits the state issues also remains undone and has been the sticking point in negotiations between the House and Senate. A few senators have questioned whether the state has gotten much of a return from its tax credit programs and have blocked efforts to issue additional tax credits to entice businesses to locate in Missouri.

Tilley doesn’t seem worried that and economic development measure might fail on this last day.

“I’m going to be here next year, so I guess we can work on it next year,” Tilley says. “I think it’s important that the will of the body be heard and not let one or two people obstruct it.”

Tilley says this final day of the legislative session could break either way.

“We’ve got the table set to have a really good last day,” Tilley states. “But the reality is if you look at what we’ve already accomplished and what we’ve already sent to the governor, I’m pretty happy with where we’re at.”

AUDIO: House Speaker Steven Tilley speaks about last legislative day [4 min MP3]