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Nixon, GOP leader, disagree on auto incentives timetable

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file photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

By Adam Allington and Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says a package of tax incentives for Ford Motor Company will pass this week.

But the Number Two man in the Missouri Senate disagrees.

Nixon called legislators back to Jefferson City June 24th to approve the 10-year, $150 million package for Ford's auto plant in Claycomo, near Kansas City.

The bill was halted in committee last week over disagreements about the effectiveness of tax incentives on job creation.

Nixon says he remains adamant that the deal is good for Missouri.

"American cars are going to be built in America...and we've got a choice whether we want to be the place where the rebirth of the auto industry is part of it," Nixon said. "This bill doesn't require the state of Missouri to pay one penny to anybody until a job is created building a vehicle of the future."

But Senate Majority Floor Leader Kevin Engler (R, Farmington) says work on the auto incentives bill has not progressed far enough for both chambers to produce a finished bill by Friday.

"Now that's not saying we shouldn't make progress this week, but just the actual practical application is not suited to that," Engler said.

The bill was blocked last week by State Senator Chuck Purgason (R, Caulfield), who's also running for the U.S. Senate. He says the state should be helping small business owners instead.

An alternate version of the bill has been filed that would bypass the committee Purgason chairs.

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