The state House has passed its version of a bill proposing a cease-fire in the so-called “Border War” over jobs with Kansas.
The proposal sponsored by House Speaker Tim Jones (R-Eureka) would restrict the use of certain incentive programs for businesses that move from four counties in Kansas across the border to any of four counties in Missouri. It would only be enacted if the state of Kansas adopts and maintains a similar policy regarding businesses that move from those Missouri Counties into Kansas.
The legislation is HB 1646.
Representative Kevin McManus (D-Kansas City) says this is the year for Missouri and Kansas to reach such an agreement.
“We’re winning this war but we can’t afford to keep it going at this rate and neither can Kansas,” says McManus, “and I think that latter part is even more important to recognize. With the changes that Kansas has undergone, they cannot afford to keep this going and they recognize it. So there’s leverage there. We have to use it.”
Jones says the economic development effort needs to be less about state versus state and more about the region versus the rest of the world.
“We’re holding out the olive branch and saying, ‘Let’s stop playing this economic small ball. Let’s create a business climate in the region that attracts more jobs back to the United States, back to the Midwest.”
The Senate has passed its own version of that legislation, sponsored by Senator Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City).