House approves tax incentive for Claycomo plant
Reform of Missouri state pensions also passes. Now it’s the Senate’s turn.
The Missouri House advanced its versions of special-session legislation on Tuesday but weighed down both bills with other measures.
A tax-incentive bill for automakers passed 125-19, while legislation reforming state pensions passed 92-54.
But the centerpiece taxincentive legislation aimed at the Ford Motor Co. and its Claycomo assembly plant picked up another unrelated measure — one extending a property-tax credit for seniors. That follows a measure added in committee on Monday offering tax breaks for computer data centers that locate in Missouri.
Both amendments exceed the guidelines set out by Gov. Jay Nixon when he called the special session and could render the bill unconstitutional if passed in its current form.
“The call for this extraordinary session was properly and narrowly focused to pass that legislation quickly and at minimum cost to taxpayers,” Nixon said in a statement. “It is important for the House and Senate to act within the narrow legal limits of the call, and I expect that members of both For all politics all the time, go to KansasCity.com and click on Prime Buzz.
chambers will stay focused on our shared goal.”
Even without constitutional concerns, passage of additional measures is uncertain. Senators showed little interest during the regular session that ended last month in passing other tax breaks and could scale back the bill to include only incentives for automakers.
“Whatever the House sends over will be confined to the ex- tent of governor’s call when it leaves the Senate chamber,” said Senate Majority Leader Kevin Engler.
The session’s other major bill reforms the retirement system for state workers. The version passed by the House sets the retirement age at 65 for most employees, requires them to contribute 4 percent of their salaries to the pension system, and allows them to vest their benefits after five years of ser- vice.
The Senate version, meanwhile, pushes retirement to age 67, allows vesting only after 10 years and creates a new investment board for the retirement systems covering state workers, transportation employees and the highway patrol.
The governor’s office has estimated the special session will cost $125,000 per week. To reach Jason Noble, send e-mail to email@example.com.