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Mo. House GOP working on economic package

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Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
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Mo. House Speaker Ron Richard

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Republicans in the Missouri House are targeting technology and the auto industry as ways to spur job growth during the 2010 legislative session.

They hope to persuade Ford Motor Company to expand its operations in the Kansas City area, although they have yet to provide specifics on how to do that.

House Speaker Ron Richard (R, Joplin) won't say yet whether there will be a specific bill aimed at Ford.

"If it's needed, we will be there...we will do legislation as appropriate for any opportunity that comes to Missouri," Richard said.

In 2008, lawmakers passed legislation aimed at luring Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier to Missouri, but the company later turned down the proposal.

Richard says they also want to provide tax incentives for science and technology companies to locate to or stay in Missouri, and they're proposing gradually doing away with a local tax on commercial property.

St. Louis Public Radio also contacted House Democratic Floor Leader Paul LeVota for this story, but he has not yet responded.

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