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Purgason removed from Mo. Senate committee chair

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

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – A Missouri State Senator whose committee had been blocking an auto incentives bill during the ongoing special session has been removed as the committee's chairman.

Chuck Purgason (R, Caulfield) had refused to allow the Senate Committee on Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Review to vote on the bill to provide $150 million in incentives for Ford Motor Company's plant near Kansas City. He says providing incentives for small business owners would be more responsible.

"We saw the results of our economic development policy there in Hazelwood and Fenton with those auto plants that have left the state, and I don't know why we don't learn from that," Purgason said.

Purgason was removed from committee chairmanship by Senate President Pro-tem Charlie Shields (R, St. Joseph).

"He was holding up the bill which, I believe, will save 3,000 jobs at the Ford plant, plus countless thousands of other jobs across the state that supply the Ford plant," Shields said.

Shields will temporarily chair the committee and bring the auto incentives bill up for a vote. After that, he says he'll restore Purgason as committee chairman.

Purgason is also running for the U.S. Senate.


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