Special session bills pass Missouri House committees
By Marshall Griffin, KWMU / AP
Jefferson City, MO – Lawmakers in Jefferson City are speeding through approval of two pieces of legislation at the center of this week's special session.
Three seperate Missouri House committees approved the bills Tuesday and sent them to the full House, which will debate them Thursday.
An economic development bill would provide more than $70 million worth of tax breaks, and includes the governor's Quality Jobs program.
"These issues were very bipartisan during session," noted Republican Shannon Cooper, of Clinton, who chairs the Rules Committee that passed the bill unanimously. "I think the economic development bill passed out of the House with over a hundred 50 votes, which is rare that we ever have that much bipartisan support on an issue."
The tax credit bill also passed the Job Quality and Economic Development committee unanimously.
While there's no opposition the part of the bill giving credits to employers that add jobs that pay above average salaries, some St. Louis area residents are opposing a section that give tax breaks to redevelopers who buy up large amounts of land in impoverished areas. An amendment added Tuesday would give local elected officials more say in those redevelopment projects.
The bill also would legalize ticket scalping.
The bridge bill would remove a glitch that's holding up the rewarding of a bid to repair over 800 bridges across the state. It passed the committee but got one no vote from St. Louis Democrat Mike Daus.
"Probably my biggest fear is every time I ask the director or the contractors who might be building these bridges how much this was gonna cost, never really got a clear answer on what that was, and that's probably a pretty big concern for me," Daus said Tuesday.