The Aerotropolis bill and a companion MOSIRA bill have been voted out of Committee.
The Senate Committee on Jobs and Economic Development heard a variety of testimony from opponents and proponents of the massive economic development package before sending it to the floor. Four amendments targeted issues that were raised during the hearing.
One phases out the circuit breaker tax credit for seniors and disabled renters and makes it subject to appropriations. Senator Victor Callahan says he agrees that an adjustment must be made to that credit, and said the lawmakers will need to talk about it on the floor. Several opponents to the bill focused on its cutting of that tax credit.
Chairman Eric Schmitt’s amendment took gateway zone decisions away from local executives and boards and instead bases them on “objective criteria” to be submitted to the Department of Economic Development for verification. Schmitt’s amendment also allowed for preexisting warehouses to participate in the Aerotropolis bill’s tax credits.
Senate Leader Rob Mayer told the Committee the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA) was made into a separate bill to keep it from being thrown out by courts. He says bills dealing with criminal law cannot be paired with those dealing with economic development.
Some opponents spoke against the MOSIRA legislation, saying it allows public money to support human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.
Both St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Kansas City Mayor Sly James testified as proponents of the Aerotropolis bill.
The Aerotropolis bill passed 7-2, with “no” votes being cast by Senators Luanne Ridgeway of Smithville and Brian Nieves of Washington. Nieves was also the lone “no” vote on the separate MOSIRA bill.