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Auto incentives bill blocked in Mo. Senate

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Mo. Senate
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State Senator Chuck Purgason (R, Caulfield)

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – The auto incentives bill Democratic Governor Jay Nixon wants passed during the special session has been blocked by State Senator Chuck Purgason.

The Caulfield Republican, who's also running for the U.S. Senate, refused to take up the bill for a vote in a committee he chairs. Purgason says the state cannot afford to give Ford Motor Company $150 million in incentives over ten years.

"We're looking at a billion-dollar shortfall next year," Purgason said. "A billion-dollar shortfall out of a $7 billion general revenue budget is going to be catastrophic for a lot of the state programs, such as education...we're in trouble."

At this point, the only way to revive the auto incentives bill would be to remove Purgason as chair of the Senate Committee on Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight. There's no word yet on whether Senate President Pro-tem Charlie Shields (R, St. Joseph) will move to do that.

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