Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) has officially issued a call for a special legislative session, which will begin at noon on September 6, the day after Labor Day.
Nixon wants lawmakers to take up 11 items during next month’s special session. As expected, it includes providing tax credits for turning Lambert Airport in St. Louis into an international air cargo hub (the Aerotropolis proposal), and moving the state’s presidential primary from February to March.
One major item that was not expected to be included, but is: Local control for the St. Louis Police Department.
Jeff Roorda with the St. Louis Police Officers Association hopes lawmakers will pass the compromise reached during the regular session and avoid a ballot initiative on local control backed by billionaire Rex Sinquefield.
“(Under the ballot initiative) there’d be no orderly transition of the department, there’d be no protection for the benefits of the employees of the police department," Roorda said. "It would result in pandemonium."
Also, House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) says he made clear to the governor that local control of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department had to be included in the call. Overall, he's satisfied with what's been included.
“We sat down with the governor and said, ‘here’s what we’ve agreed upon, and we would ask you to call us in on these parameters,’ and with almost no exceptions he did that," Tilley said. "My hope is that we can get in there, we can do the people’s business, and be out in about two weeks.”
The call also includes incentives for science and high-tech jobs, data storage centers and amateur sporting events.
However, natural disaster response will not be addressed during the special session. Governor Nixon and legislative leaders both say that more time is needed to assess the cost of tornados and floods that have hit Missouri this year.