Complaint: Justification for special session poorly defined

Missouri lawmakers will return Wednesday for the third week of the General Assembly’s special session, still working to pass suggested bills.

The session was ordered last month by Gov. Jay Nixon, after legislative leaders told him there was a “deal” among lawmakers that would result in passage of a major “jobs” bill.

Nixon’s call also included passing a bill moving the presidential preference primary to March, to replace the regular session bill he vetoed because of other issues lawmakers added to it.

And he asked lawmakers to change state law so business owners whose property is damaged or destroyed — such as in this year’s tornadoes or flooding — can get tax breaks already offered residential property owners.

The proposal — to provide about $360 million in tax credits for businesses and individuals who help launch warehouse operations that help boost international trade through Lambert-St. Louis International Airport — was scaled-back in last week’s Senate debate, and the House is being asked to OK a plan that now includes only $60 million in tax credits, and only for companies that make the shipping arrangements for Missouri, and American, products to be sold overseas.

Several lawmakers have complained this fall that there is no “special” reason to be holding this year’s special session, that there has been nothing “extraordinary” enough to warrant taking action outside of the regular legislative sessions held from January-May each year.

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