Missouri Lawmakers Look At Deal To Land Boeing
Missouri Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has called lawmakers back to Jefferson City for a special session in an attempt to win a contract from Boeing to build the 777X passenger jet.
Missouri's regular session for 2014 begins in just over a month, but in a press release Nixon says holding a special session is necessary because Boeing's deadline for proposals is Dec. 10.
"Building this next-generation commercial aircraft in Missouri would create thousands of jobs across our state and secure our position as a hub for advanced aerospace manufacturing,"
said Nixon. "That's why I am committed to competing for and winning this project."
Missouri's Republican-led General Assembly has been divided in recent years on the use of tax credits. In 2009 they approved $240 million in incentives in a failed attempt to lure aerospace company Bombardier to Kansas City to build aircraft there.
In 2011, disagreements between House and Senate Republicans contributed to the failure to pass a $360 million incentives package to turn Lambert Airport in St. Louis into an international air cargo hub. A scaled-back version of the so-called "Aerotropolis" proposal failed during the Show-Me State's last special session later that year.
House Speaker Tim Jones says landing the commercial aircraft plant is a huge opportunity.
“We’re talking about high paying jobs and we’re talking about jobs that would last for a long period of time that would ancillary positive effects because Boeing of course has hundreds of suppliers and vendors in all the states in which it does business,” said Jones.
Jones notes that Missouri will face stiff competition, with several other states including Kansas looking to land the project.
Republican State Sen. John Lamping says the opportunity is huge, but he wants to see the details.
“There’s a lot of work to be done just coming up to speed to understand what the governor’s proposing,” said Lamping.
Lamping says he doesn’t want to add to the overall dollar amount of tax credits offered by the state. That could mean cuts to other incentives that encourage restoring historic buildings and constructing low income housing.
Missouri's 2013 special session begins Monday at 4:00 p.m.