Hopes that the Made in Missouri special legislative session might be wrapped up quickly get a reality check from some senators who question limits on what they can pass and provisions in the big economic development bill.
Governors can call special sessions and can establish a limited agenda. This session has more than a half-dozen issues he wants lawmakers to address. The biggest one is a major tax credit program to develop the so-called China import hub at Lambert-St. Louis Airport. Critics say the proposal would benefit only a half-dozen developers and would not guarantee creation of new jobs before the tax credits are issued. They also complain proposed cuts in other tax credit programs would hit senior citizens and low-income Missourians hardest.
Cape Girardeau Senator Jason Crowell is the loudest critic.
Crowell, in floor debate :15 mp3
Governor Nixon has told lawmakers to repeal troubling language enacted this spring limiting social media contacts between teachers and students. His call specifically forbids enacting new controls. That hasn’t kept St. Louis Senator Jane Cunningham from introducing a bill doing exactly what Nixon says can’t be done. She says a state supreme court ruling in 1922 lets the legislature do whatever it wants to do with the any topic the governor raises in his call. Crowell suggests the Governor’s limits on what the legislature can do in this session are pretty clear but was unable to budge Cunningham.
Crowell & Cunningham :22 mp3That has Crowell arguing that the same provision throws the economic development package wide open, beyond limits of the governor’s call and beyond the compromise legislative leaders and Nixon announced in July.