JEFFERSON CITY – An omnibus economic development bill containing several priorities of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry was passed in the Missouri Senate Tuesday afternoon on a 22-11 vote. The bill is vastly different from the version which passed the Missouri House last week, but continues progress on the issue of economic development.
“It is important for economic development to be among the issues addressed this legislative session,” said Dan Mehan, Missouri Chamber president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Today’s economy and markets are changing at an ever-increasing speed, and it is critical that Missouri lawmakers make sure that Missouri’s economic development investments reflect those changes and are targeted at industries and projects that will give taxpayers the greatest rate of return.”
During Senate Committee review of the bill, language was substituted to narrow its focus to provide incentives for international freight forwarders, data center construction, and angel investors. In addition, the substitute would sunset the Neighborhood Preservation Act and the Self-employed Health Insurance Tax Credit programs. The bill also would set caps on Low Income Housing and Historic Tax Credits. During Senate floor debate, the cap on Historic Tax Credits was raised to $60 million, but it is still well below the House version of the bill.
“House Bill 698 provides caps on programs to control growth in an effort to free up funding to strategically target to industries and opportunities that will give Missouri the greatest return for its investment,” said Mehan. “The Senate has made some changes that will go back to the House, and we hope this can be a vehicle to move from debate to final passage of legislation to send to Gov. Nixon for signature.”
The Missouri House now gets an opportunity to approve the Senate version or request a conference on the bill.
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry (www.mochamber.com) was founded in 1923 and is the largest business organization in Missouri, representing almost 3,000 employers, providing more than 425,000 jobs for Missourians.