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Missouri special session ends

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The special legislative session in Missouri is over, and lawmakers gave Governor Matt Blunt what he asked for: A smaller economic development package and a fast track to repairing hundreds of bridges across the state.

The economic development bill provides about $66 million worth of tax credits, including land assemblage credits that will benefit St. Louis-area developer Paul McKee.

House Democrats from St. Louis split their votes on the issue, while in the Senate; the opposition came from members of both parties that live in other regions of Missouri.

Senate Minority Leader Maida Coleman, who also represents parts of St. Louis, voted for the bill.

"I certainly feel for those constituents who don't think that they have been allowed to be a part of the process...but I do believe that for the first time in a long time, people in the Senate actually want to do something that benefits the city of St. Louis," Coleman said.

The bill's sponsor, Republican House Member Ron Richard of Joplin, pointed out that there was opposition from several Kansas City-area lawmakers.

"Senator Griesheimer and I, of course, have always said that if this program works as well as we think it is, we're happy to look at another kind of a footprint for Kansas City," Richard said.

The bill also expands the governor's Quality Jobs program, includes tax breaks for cattle ranchers and film makers, and legalizes ticket scalping in Missouri.

The House and Senate also passed the bridge repair bill. It will speed up the bidding process for a massive project to repair or replace 802 bridges across Missouri.

Both bills now go to Governor Blunt.


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