The Senate has adjourned Sine Die, ending the special legislative session without the passage of a major jobs package, a China Hub bill or several other pieces the Governor called for.
Only two members of the Senate were present when the end came. President Pro Tem Rob Mayer (R-Dexter) opened the technical session a few minutes after noon, Tuesday and Majority Floor Leader Tom Dempsey (R-St. Peters) made the motion that the body adjourn Sine Die. The motion was passed, with the body having been in session less than a minute.
House leadership says it will allow the clock to run down on the session until it expires automatically on November 5. It is scheduled to meet in technical session on Thursday at 11:00.
When it adjourned, the Senate had possession of the House Committee Substitute for the jobs bill, meaning the House can do nothing with it.
According to Senator Mayer, the major hangup that lead to the bill’s demise was tax credits. He had proposed 7 year sunsets for the low-income housing and the historic preservation programs. He says there was never any indication from Speaker Steven Tilley that the House would adopt those sunsets. If the House had taken them up, Mayer says the two chambers would have gone to conference over the jobs bill as the House had requested. He adds, he has not talked to Tilley in about 3 weeks.
President Pro Tem Mayer says he feels it was time for the session to end so that lawmakers can look at what components of the economic development legislation might be salvaged and looked at again in the next special session.
He also says tax credit reform must happen soon, as the amount the state is reimbursing for those is approaching 600 million dollars annually.
The session has cost the state about $280,000 and saw the passage of two bills. Lawmakers put a clause in one of those, the Missouri Science Innovation and Reinvestment Act (MOSIRA), saying it would only take effect if the China Hub Bill were also passed, which it was not, and signed by the Governor. The Governor’s Office says the courts may have to decide if that link is constitutional.
The other bill gives school districts the authority to craft policies governing how students and teachers can communicate online on sites like Facebook.
Both pieces have been signed by Governor Jay Nixon.