Senate delays jobs bill debate

Missouri senators have a homework assignment this weekend: Read a 268-page “book” that spells out details of the proposed jobs bill lawmakers are being asked to pass in the special session.

Originally, Senate leaders had planned to debate the bill Thursday, after winning committee approval Wednesday.

Now, that debate — which may face a filibuster by several vocal opponents — is set to begin Tuesday afternoon.

“Several members asked that they have the opportunity to look through the bill and read through it,” Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, told his colleagues. “It’s a lengthy bill — there’s a lot of complicated measures in the bill.

“This will give you the opportunity to review that, to study it, to analyze it and give you the opportunity to be prepared when you come back next week.”

Several people testifying during Wednesday night’s committee hearing challenged lawmakers to read the entire bill before voting on it.

The main part of the measure is the “Aerotropolis” — what had been called the “China Hub” until earlier this year. It’s a plan to provide up to $360 million in new tax credits for warehouse development and new shipping efforts to expand international trade.

To help pay for the new tax credits, the bill proposes cutting back or eliminating many of the state’s current list of 61 different credits.

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