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Auto incentives bill changed by Mo. House committee

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Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
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The Mo. House Committee on Job Creation and Economic Development meets at the State Capitol.

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – A Missouri House committee has restructured an auto incentives bill that was originally designed to be paired with legislation restructuring state pensions.

The two bills are at the heart of the special session called by Governor Jay Nixon. Instead of relying on state pension changes to cover the cost of incentives for Ford Motor Company's Kansas City plant, it would be covered instead by tax credits from the state's Quality Jobs program.

State Representative Tim Flook (R, Liberty) chairs the committee and sponsored the amendment.

"The pension bill is a big issue and we need to do it, it's something that needs to be done, but it's a different issue," Flook told the House Committee on Job Creation and Economic Development. "I want to make sure we have a good stand-alone bill that meets standards we've used in the past successfully."

Flook also persuaded the committee to add language providing tax credits for underground data storage centers.

"If we can get a compromise, Governor Nixon has been, in principle, for this type of legislation," Flook said. "If we can't get it worked out, then we can't...we'll pass the manufacturing bill on its own merits."

The Governor's office says the data storage amendment falls outside the call of the special session, and that adding it to the auto incentives bill could trigger a legal challenge.

The full House is scheduled to convene Tuesday and may debate the expanded bill then.

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