The state legislature has sent Governor Jay Nixon everything he wants in an incentive package to try to get Boeing to build its 777X airliner.
At least, that’s what House Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka) believes.
“It’s my understanding that Governor Nixon agrees that everything that he requested was placed into the Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 1 that we have now truly agreed and finally passed to his desk.”
Jones has signed that bill and says Senate Leader Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles) will be doing the same today. A staffer with Governor Nixon’s Office says it will review the bill as it would any other before offering comment or taking action.
“The ball is put back in his court to put Missouri’s best foot forward,” Jones says of Nixon.
The legislation extends for Boeing limits on four economic development programs, translating to an offer of up to 1.7-billion in tax incentives. Nixon hopes that, combined with local incentives and agreements by Union leaders and community colleges in the state, will get Boeing to create as many as 8,000 jobs in Missouri.
Missouri and at least 12 other states must submit offers to Boeing by Tuesday. Jones thinks Boeing will not make selections until some time in January.
While the House discussed that bill today, it was learned that part of an amendment offered by Senator Brad Lager (R-Savannah) was omitted in the copy it received from the Senate due to an error by Senate staff.
Majority Floor Leader John Diehl (R-Town and Country) explained to legislators how leadership intended to fix the problem in a way that it thought was transparent, starting with distributing to the representatives a copy that matched what was in the chamber’s journal.
“The journals are all correct … we’re going to ask the members to vote on a resolution acknowledging that everybody here understands that this is what we’re going to be voting on and third read in a few minutes.”
The fix was endorsed by Representative Jeff Roorda (D-Barnhart), who on the House floor told Diehl, “I think the record is clear that there is probably nobody in the room that is more likely to call you if you’ve got it wrong on procedural stuff (than me). I’m not here to do that today.”
Diehl says such problems are not uncommon, but leadership felt the resolution was necessary since lawmakers were dealing with only one bill in the special session, creating greater scrutiny on that one measure.
He says the Governor’s staff was involved in the discussion of that error and was comfortable with the fix.
A legislative staffer says there is also legal precedent establishing that an error by legislative staff can not impact the passage of legislation.