The Missouri Senate leader hopes lawmakers can quickly finalize an incentives package for General Motors (GM), a package aimed at attracting a $1 billion expansion at GM’s sprawling Wentzville plant.
Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, told Missourinet late Monday afternoon that lawmakers were still working on the bill’s language. State Rep. Bryan Spencer, R-Wentzville, tells Missourinet he’s pleased that GM is making an effort to do the expansion.
“I think that’s not only going to help Wentzville, but it’s going to help the entire region all the way down from St. Louis all the way up to Hannibal all the way out to Jeff City even,” Spencer says.
Spencer describes this as a “joint community effort,” noting Wentzville Mayor Nick Guccione, city administrator David Gipson, St. Charles County officials, state lawmakers and GM executives have all been involved.
Spencer is optimistic that Missouri lawmakers will approve an incentives package for GM by the 2019 session’s end, which is May 17.
“Because there’s a lot of people that have a lot of interest. It’s a good thing and everybody wants to make sure that we do the right thing not only for GM, but for the community and the state,” says Spencer.
GM’s website says the Wentzville plant covers 438 acres and has about 4,600 employees that work over three shifts. The plant produces vehicles such as the GMC Canyon and the Chevrolet Colorado.
The plant, which opened in 1983, also has an on-site stamping facility that produces the majority of parts used in production of the Chevy Express and GMC Savana vans.
Wentzville is about 40 miles west of St. Louis. While many of those employees live in Representative Spencer’s House district, he emphasizes the plant is a regional employer. Spencer says he met an autoworker who commutes daily from Boonville to Wentzville, which is about 100 miles each way.
“He works a full shift, sometimes overtime, and then drives all the way back to Boonville,” Spencer says.
Boonville is west of Columbia.
Governor Mike Parson (R) has said lawmakers must approve a GM incentives package by May 17, to help land the project other states are competing for.
House Speaker Elijah Haahr (R-Springfield) told Capitol reporters on Thursday that we’ll know the package’s cost by this week. Speaker Haahr says he’s optimistic that lawmakers can approve the incentives package by the end of session, adding that he doesn’t believe that a special legislative session would be necessary.
GM’s Wentzville plant is union, represented by United Auto Workers Local 2250.
Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s full four-minute interview with State Rep. Bryan Spencer, R-Wentzville, which was recorded on May 6, 2019 at the Statehouse in Jefferson City:
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