State senators plan to investigate an unfulfilled central Missouri project that used public incentives and was to employ several hundred people to manufacture artificial sweetener.
The project by Mamtek U.S. Inc. was backed by $39 million in industrial development bonds issued by Moberly, and the state offered more than $17 million worth of incentives. But the plant remains under construction, Mamtek has laid off its employees and the company missed its first bond payment.
Lawmakers have left Jefferson City and are not scheduled to return, even though the special session is still officially underway. House and Senate leaders are still at odds over a wide-ranging tax credit bill.
The only legislative action so far this week was Monday’s technical session in the Missouri Senate, in which two Senators gaveled the chamber in, took no action, then gaveled out about a minute later. The House is scheduled to hold a similarly brief session on Thursday.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) met with reporters at the State Capitol today to discuss the latest developments with the special legislative session. He also commented on the Mamtek controversy that has damaged the financial status of the small town of Moberly and caused some legislative leaders to question whether parts of the tax credit bill could wreak the same havoc.
You can listen to the entire news conference by clicking on the word "listen" above.
The special legislative session in Missouri did not come to an end today, despite warnings from House and Senate leaders that they would go home if an agreement on a wide-ranging tax credit bill wasn’t reached by today's adjournments.
Instead, both chambers will hold technical sessions, where just a handful of lawmakers gavel in for a few minutes and then adjourn. Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says his chamber will only meet in technical sessions until an agreement is reached on tax credits, or until time runs out in early November, whichever comes first.
Missouri lawmakers have quit working this week without agreeing on the details of a bill overhauling Missouri's tax credits and business incentives that had been touted as the marquee issue of a special session that began Sept. 6. There seems to be little chance of resolving the stalemate, but the two chambers did agree to keep the special session going in case a compromise can be reached later.
At least one bill has made it out of the special legislative session.
Today the Missouri House overwhelmingly passed the so-called “Facebook Fix,” which would remove confusing language from a new law regarding teacher-student messaging via social media. That law was placed on hold last month by a Cole County judge, who ruled that barring teachers from websites that allow private messaging with students would have a, quote, “chilling effect” on free speech rights.
A Missouri House committee has dealt what could be a fatal blow to the passage of the wide-ranging tax credit bill that lawmakers have been battling over throughout the special legislative session.
The House Economic Development Committee adjourned for the day without taking it up for a vote, which means the full House cannot vote on it Friday unless it suspends the rules. Chairwoman Anne Zerr (R, St. Charles) says the bill is just not ready to be voted on, as House and Senate negotiators are nowhere near an agreement.
House and Senate leaders continue to butt heads over what should and should not be included in the wide-ranging tax credit bill, and that includes the compromise version that House leaders announced that they’ve reached with the governor. Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter) says the chances of reaching a compromise by Friday look very slim.
First, one audit concludes that Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R) may have had a conflict of interest by serving as chairman of both the state Tourism Commission and a nonprofit group that put on the Tour of Missouri bicycle race.
It notes that the Tourism Commission has no conflict of interest policy and recommends it adopt one.
Missouri House leaders have announced "a compromise proposal" on the tax credit bill that's become stalled during the ongoing special legislative session.
In a press release issued today, State Representatives John Diehl (R, Town and Country) and Anne Zerr (R, St. Charles) said that they had worked with Governor Jay Nixon (D) on crafting an alternate proposal. However, the press release contains no details on what's in it. Zerr says she cannot disclose what's in the compromise because it's still being worked on.