The head of the Missouri Senate has announced he’s going to pull the plug on the special legislative session next week.
President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) believes it’s too late to pass any kind of economic development bill before the session expires in two weeks. Despite Thursday’s move by the Missouri House to appoint lawmakers to negotiate a final version of the wide-ranging tax credit bill, Mayer says any agreement must include 7-year expiration dates, or sunsets, on historic preservation and low income housing tax credits.
So, what's the top priority for everyone? A package of tax credits affectionately known as "Aerotropolis," which would provide incentives for the creation of a hub for Chinese cargo at Lambert Airport.
The Missouri House has done an about-face and now wants a joint committee to negotiate a final version of a wide-ranging tax credit bill that has divided the House and Senate throughout the ongoing special session.
House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) had suggested weeks ago that a conference committee wasn’t necessary and that any differences on tax credits could be worked out during floor debates. Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter), meanwhile, had pushed for going to conference because that’s the normal route for reaching compromise on bills. Tilley says he’s decided to take Mayer at his word.
Missouri House members are trying to eject from their earlier support for a jet built in Texas.
House members this month approved a resolution urging Congress to fund the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, which is built by Lockheed Martin Corp. in Texas. Some now fear the jet could compete for funding with the F/A-18, which is built by Boeing Corp. in St. Louis.
Boeing is among Missouri's biggest employers with about 15,000 workers in the state and 5,000 connected to the F/A-18.
Missouri House leaders will now attempt to get rid of the state’s presidential primary and replace it with party caucuses. A similar move fell short in the Missouri Senate.
Some Senate Republicans tried and failed Monday night to swap out the bill to move the primary from February to March with one that would have replaced it with caucuses. Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard) has filed a new bill in the House that would do the same thing.
The proposed bill is, in part, the result of an ongoing legal battle with the Missouri Banker’s Association. Schweich says the MBA is seeking to block his office from examining how the Finance Division examined the records of a number of failed banks in Missouri.