The bill would provide around $480 million in tax incentives, which companies could use to build cargo facilities near Lambert Airport.
Ironically, the sponsor, GOP House Member Caleb Jones, hails from rural central Missouri.
“This bill will create jobs, not just in St. Louis, but Kansas City, Columbia, (the town of) California, where I’m from, and also create a demand for all our products,” Jones said.
The bill passed overwhelmingly with strong support from both political parties.
"We’re bringing in a completely new industry to Missouri," Jones said. "There are no international shippers in Missouri right now, and this bill will allow them to not only move to Missouri, but spend money here in Missouri in building an infrastructure to make sure that Missouri’s goods and products are exported."
State Representative Jeanette Mott Oxford (D, St. Louis) cast one of the few “no” votes, saying it would give away too much money in tax breaks.
“This bill has received a lot of love on this floor, and I think that’s because we’re all desperate to bring jobs to our state," Oxford said during debate. "I think, instead, this is a little bit more like the musical ‘The Music Man,’ and that we might be bamboozled by this bill.”
The bill now goes to the Missouri Senate.