Governor Mike Parson and members of his own party have budged – ending a 26-hour protest about an incentive package inspired by General Motors. The compromise reached on the $50 million tax credits plan championed by Parson is meant to woo GM for a potential expansion in Wentzville.

The General Motors plant in Wentzville has about 4,600 employees, according to GM’s website (photo courtesy of GM website)

So what’s the deal? The six-member Senate Conservative Caucus ultimately gave up its fight in exchange for a promise that further abortion regulations would come up for debate next. On the Senate floor Tuesday, Sen. Bob Onder said the “protection of human life was leveraged against them”.

“That is inappropriate. Our colleagues were faced with a decision,” he said. “We have been assured the next order of business in this body will be picking up the defense of innocent human life. We will do that. We will protect unborn children capable of feeling pain. We will protect babies with heart beats. We will pass the heartbeat bill.”

Democrats are expected to go to great lengths to shut down Senate work for as long as possible on the measure.

Some members of the Conservative Caucus were not in Parson’s corner about components of the bill he says GM wants, including ones that would provide tax credits earlier in a business expansion and financial aid for people seeking high demand jobs. Sens. Onder and Bill Eigel, who live in Lake St. Louis and Weldon Spring near the Wentzville plant, have argued that GM wants $50 million in tax credits – not the additional measures.

Eigel used a loaf of bread to make his point about compromise.

“You can’t get the full loaf,” he said. “If you expect to get a full loaf in a deal each time, you’re going to end up incredibly disappointed.”

Shortly after Senators voted 25-8 in favor of the proposal, the governor released a statement.

“Today’s final vote is a complete victory for Missourians and jobs in every corner of the state. We are sending a powerful message to the nation that we are ready to compete with every state for more jobs,” said Parson. “From day one, I’ve talked about the importance of workforce development and infrastructure – and thanks to House and Senate Leadership, State Representatives Kathy Swan and Nick Schroer, and State Senator Lincoln Hough, we now have the necessary economic development tools to make an important investment in the skills of Missouri workers. We are now on track to be one of the most pro-growth, pro-jobs administrations in Missouri’s history.”

Tick tock – lawmakers have three days left in the session to pass other bills.

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