Special Session Compromises Continue in Legislative Chambers and Halls

This week, legislators moved towards passing a set of bills aimed at job creation and retention in the Show Me State. While legislators all understand the importance of creating jobs and keeping them in Missouri, how that is done is the question.Two economic development bills were filed in the Senate and both have passed, but with stipulations. After a set of filibusters halted the bill for over a week, Senate Bill 7 and 8 have moved from the Senate to the House of Representatives. The Senate drastically scaled back portions of Senate Bill 8 by reducing the state assistance for warehousing at the St. Louis Lambert Airport from $360 million to $60 million. The bill, along with its SB7 counterpart, moved to the House. Last night, the House Economic Development Committee completed a hearing on both bills and passed only Senate Bill 7 out of committee. That bill was passed on the House floor today. Senate Bill 7 contains the Missouri Science

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Senate Passes Scaled-Back Economic Development Bill

September 14, 2011: The Missouri Senate today passed a version of Senate Bill 8, the economic development and tax credit reform legislation.  The bill includes: Dramatically scaled-back China Hub legislation that provides air export tax credits for freight forwarders in the amount of $60 million.  The $300 million that was to have been targeted for new warehouse construction has been removed from the bill; New sales tax exemptions for data centers and authorization for municipalities to enter into leaseback agreements with data centers (which may include property tax exemptions); COMPETE Missouri: a program that combines several existing tax credit programs into one program, establishes retention tax credits, and revises job training credits; New tax credits for groups that are attracting sporting events; New tax credits for donations to providers of care for the developmentally disabled; and, A number of changes and restrictions on various tax credit programs, including subjecting some to appropriations, adding expiration dates, and extending some tax credit programs.

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Manufacturing Exemption Protected by Associated Industries of Missouri

Senators last week gave first round approval to Senate Bill 8, the omnibus economic development legislation.  After hard work by AIM staff and our members, the version taken up by the Senate did NOT include the erroneous language that would have dramatically reduced the benefit of the manufacturing inputs exemption passed in 2007.  We thank our Senate leadership and members and colleagues for helping us turn back this language. The Senate made several changes to the economic development bill, including eliminating around $300 million for the China Hub project.

Second Injury Fund – A Responsible Solution

During the 2011 legislative session, a coalition of 10 business groups, including Associated Industries of Missouri, successfully defeated a proposal supported by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys that would have dramatically increased the amount employers pay into the Second Injury Fund.  The Second Injury Fund is funded with a surcharge on worker’s compensation premiums that is currently capped by statute at 3%.  The Chamber/trial attorney plan would have allowed this surcharge to more than double and, more importantly, would have allowed non-work related claims to be compensated through the worker’s compensation system.  The same non-work related claims that have bankrupted the Second Injury Fund would be covered by employers’ workers compensation, causing these costs to skyrocket!  In recently filed court documents, the Missouri Chamber also admits increasing the surcharge would harm Missouri businesses: “This economic harm will be long lasting and detrimental to the business community in Missouri.” Associated Industries of Missouri polled our membership

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