AIM calls on President Obama to change EPA emissions standards

Calling the EPA’s latest regulations on carbon dioxide emissions “inconsistent with sound energy policy,” Associated Industries of Missouri president Ray McCarty has written a letter to President Obama asking for the EPA to stand down from its latest New Source Performance Standards rule. The letter follows: Dear Mr. President: I am writing to respectfully urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) make changes to its proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) rule. As currently drafted, the rule is inconsistent with sound energy policy and your “all of the above” energy strategy which is critical to meeting our nation’s demand for affordable, reliable electricity. As it now stands, the proposal requires new fossil fuel-fired electric generating units—both natural gas-fired and coal-fired—to meet a carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rate that can only be achieved using new natural gas combined cycle units or new coal-fired units equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. Since CCS technology is still under development, it is

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Leadership shake-up at Department of Economic Development

There’s a new acting director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. Deputy Director Mike Downing takes over as acting director, replacing Chris Pieper who returns to the governor’s staff. You can read about the change and the people involved in this release from the governor’s office.

AIM Educates Fourth Graders on Legislative Process

The fourth grade class of Parkview Elementary School from Sedalia, MO, learned about the legislative process by “passing” a bill to make Neapolitan ice cream the official ice cream of the State of Missouri in a mock exercise sponsored by Associated Industries of Missouri.  The students visited the State Capitol building today to learn more about their state government. “These fourth graders learned a lot about the legislative process in a very short amount of time,” said Ray McCarty.  “I think even the adults in the group may have learned something about the legislative process.”  During the mock exercise, McCarty divided the group into “House” and “Senate” members and appointed some student volunteers to committees.  He also answered questions from the students about government. During the exercise, the students watched and participated as a bill to establish vanilla ice cream as the state’s official ice cream was amended to include strawberry, chocolate, and even spinach (which drew groans of disapproval

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Major auto supplier plans to build new manufacturing facility in Riverside

The AIM-supported Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act of 2010 continues to pay off, creating jobs for the Missouri economy. In the latest example of Missouri’s resurgent automotive industry, a major auto supply company based in China is planning to construct a new manufacturing plant in Riverside, Gov. Jay Nixon announced today.  Yanfeng USA Automotive Trim Systems, a Michigan-based subsidiary of Yanfeng Visteon of China, supplies parts to companies such as General Motors and Chrysler and plans to build the new $45 million production facility and create 263 new local jobs. “The historic expansions by Ford and General Motors during 2011 have transformed Missouri’s economy, putting our state on the map as the leader of the rebirth of the American auto industry,” Gov. Nixon said. “That momentum continues as we once again expand our network of automotive supply manufacturers in Missouri. Yanfeng’s decision to build a new production facility in Riverside and create 263 new manufacturing jobs is more excellent news for our state’s automotive industry

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Ford sees record profits in North America in first quarter

  The New York Times (4/25, Vlasic, Subscription Publication) reports, “The Ford Motor Company said on Wednesday that its net income improved 15 percent in the first quarter to $1.6 billion, as record results in North America compensated for losses in Europe and South America.” The automaker’s sales in the US “rose 11 percent in the first three months of this year, compared with a 6 percent increase for the overall industry. In North America, Ford posted a pretax profit of $2.4 billion, a 14-percent improvement over the same period a year ago.” The Detroit Free Press (4/25, Priddle) reports, “Ford’s global revenue rose 10.5% to $35.8 billion, almost all of it coming from Americans buying more cars and trucks at higher prices.” While the automaker “once was overly reliant on trucks, several of its cars, especially the Fusion, Focus and the Escape crossover, are selling briskly.” Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks “said the mix is better for the company long term, but Ford

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Linn State Tech gets new name

Seems that folks in mid-Missouri have just begun to get used to the name of the school that used to be called Linn Tech. Now there’ll be another new name, one that reflects the growth of the student population and mission of the school. Thursday, the Missouri Senate passed and sent to Governor Nixon legislation that will change the name of Linn State Technical College to The State Technical College of Missouri, effective on July 1, 2014. “It will take me a while to stop calling it Linn Sate Technical College,” said State Senator Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City), a former member of the school’s board. “With this body’s action today, the school can go on to the next step in its life and continue to expand its mission in a statewide presence.” The current Linn State Technical College offers more than 35 technical programs at the associate of applied science degree and certificate level. In addition, customized and contract training

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House passes tax cut bill

It looks like the Missouri General Assembly will pass some sort of significant tax cutting proposal this session, but the amount of the cut and who the cut will affect is still up in the air. Wednesday, the Missouri House of Representatives voted 90-68 to pass Senate Bill 26, sponsored by Senator Will Kraus The House version of SB 26 includes a  two thirds of a percentage point cut to the state’s top tax rate of six percent over five years, so long as state tax revenues increase by at least $100 million dollars each year. The corporate income tax rate would be reduced by three quarters of a percentage point and there would be a new 50 percent deduction phased in for business income reported on personal tax returns, also dependent on at least a $100 million growth in tax revenues. The bill also exempts the first $25,000 of corporate income from taxation, and nearly doubles the personal deduction on

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AIM backs three business tax reducing bills

Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri testified Tuesday in favor of three bills that would lessen the tax burden on Missouri businesses. The biggest of the three is House Bill 1031, sponsored by Rep. Mark Parkinson (R-St. Charles). It seeks to eliminate the income tax on corporations by January 1, 2014. According to a fiscal analysis released with the bill, Missouri corporations would save about $384 million in taxes by fiscal year 2015. “It has long been our contention that lowering the tax burden on business will lead to economic growth,” said McCarty. “This is a forward thinking piece of legislation and we thank Rep. Parkinson for having the courage to introduce it.” McCarty also appeared before the House Economic Development Committee in support of House Bill 827 and the House Ways and Means Committee on House Bill 1029. House Bill 827, sponsored by Rep. Dave Hinson (R-St. Clair), authorizes a sales and use tax exemption for any

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Governor Vetoes Local Motor Vehicle Sales Tax Legislation

Governor Jay Nixon has again vetoed legislation designed to allow local sales taxes to apply to purchases of vehicles, trailers, boats and outboard motors from dealers in other states. The Governor cited technical flaws with the legislation as his reason for vetoing SB 182.   In a statement, the Governor said language allowing repeal of the local taxes could have inadvertenly resulted either in the loss of local taxes on all vehicle sales (including those purchased from instate dealers) or would have resulted in the inability of voters to repeal the local tax on private vehicle sales.  The Governor did acknowledge the bill was a significant improvement over the bill he vetoed last session because it allowed voters to repeal the tax and did not result in retroactive taxation. The legislature could attempt to override the Governor’s veto, or pass another bill that addresses these technical concerns.  The legislative session ends in four weeks on May 17, 2013. Click HERE for an

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NAM: Fed reports “moderate” economic growth due to manufacturing, housing

Against the backdrop of disappointing recent economic data, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book released Wednesday provided a more upbeat picture of the economy, media outlets report.Bloomberg News (4/18, Kearns, Matthews) reports that the Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the economy continued to be “moderate,” aided by gains in housing, manufacturing and autos. USA Today (4/18, Davidson) says that while the report showed economic growth overall, activity in some regions was curtailed due to higher payroll taxes, higher gas prices, Federal spending cuts, and unusually cold weather. The New York Times/AP (4/18, Subscription Publication) reports, “Growth was moderate or modest in all of the Fed’s 12 banking districts, and it accelerated in two – New York and Dallas – from January and early February.” The Wall Street Journal (4/18, Sparshott, Subscription Publication) quotes the report as stating, “Labor market conditions remained unchanged or improved slightly, and reports of hiring were more widespread in the manufacturing, residential construction, information technology and professional services sectors.” Reuters (4/18, Bull) also

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