A major economic development bill died on the last day of the legislative session, killed by the same issue that has doomed such bills in the past: a disagreement between the House and Senate on tax credits.
House Speaker Steven Tilley, a Republican from Perryville, said the House made several tries at passing incentives to lure a variety of businesses to Missouri.
“Well, I mean I think the House passed multiple versions of the economic development bill and the Senate passed us their version. We felt like it was harmful, actually, to a lot of sectors of job creation, whether it be low-income housing, whether it be putting sunsets on programs,” Tilley told reporters after the session ended. “I mean, you guys have seen how dysfunctional the Senate can be and to put a sunset on a program where one senator can hold one program hostage is just not good government.”
Tilley insisted it would be harmful in light of the current Senate make-up to place a sunset on a tax credit program.
“For example, if you put a sunset on a program, the way the Senate acts now, where one person controls the show, I think it’s not good public policy to do that,” Tilley said.
A bit of a different take came from the top Democrat in the House, Mike Talboy of Kansas City, who says the disagreements on tax credits between the House and Senate should have been a focus of Republicans long before the last day of the session. Talboy says the state unemployment rate is too high to fail on such an important issue.
“When you look at that, we really have very incomplete session,” Talboy told reporters. “And whether it’s the Senate’s fault or the House’s fault, those debates should have started a lot earlier.”
The House and Senate were not able to agree on the reductions in state tax credit programs. The two chambers also could not agree on expiration dates for certain tax credit programs.