The Minority Leader in the Missouri House of Representatives says rather than focus only on ideas that have already been vetted, the legislature needs to consider some fresh ideas.

State Representative Mike Talboy (D-Kansas City)

Mike Talboy (D-Kansas City) points to the states neighboring Missouri, all of which he says have angel investment opportunities. Those could be tax credit programs or funds that are typically smaller than some of the economic development programs already in Missouri.

He says putting programs like that into effect can provide “good bang for your buck in the beginning. But then also as the budget years get better and as we have more revenue in the state and as we see the returns on those types of programs, then you can look at expanding them if you need to or be able to expand them into different parts of the state.” Talboy says there is nothing like what he is talking about currently offered by DED.

Talboy says just having some new tools for economic development can spur some important discussions by stirring discussion that might not happen without them. “It allows tangentially some of these ideas to come out of those conversations that are new that we don’t have…you see some of these new ideas sprout up from those conversations.”

The Department of Economic Development has come under scrutiny by lawmakers investigating a failed project to bring a sucralose plant to Moberly. Talboy says that should not have any impact on discussion of new incentives that department might offer. “Whether or not they’re a good program…I don’t think depends on the conversations and whether people have an issue with department or another. I think that if the program’s worthwhile we’ll find a way to make sure that it gets done. If people have objections to certain departments, we’ll deal with those separately.”

The new legislative session begins tomorrow.