Mo. high court hears arguments on incentive fund

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Supreme Court judges are weighing two potentially contradictory sections of legislation while deciding whether a new law creating an incentive fund for high-tech businesses can take effect.

Arguments Wednesday before the high court focused on the bill’s contingency clause, which made the program effective only if lawmakers also passed a separate economic development bill during a 2011 special session. A trial judge struck down the entire law earlier this year, ruling the contingency clause was unconstitutional.

During an appeal to the Supreme Court, the attorney general’s office argued that judges should focus a severability clause that also was contained in the bill. That section said that if part of the measure were struck down, other portions of the bill could still be allowed to take effect.

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