Update: Ford bill sent to Nixon after passing House
Tue, 13 Jul 2010 16:41:17 GMT —
Update: Wednesday, July 15 at 11:42 a.m.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri lawmakers have sent Gov. Jay Nixon a bill offering tax incentives to Ford Motor Co. and other automakers.
The House's 101-40 vote Wednesday followed a 20-7 vote in the Senate and came only after the Senate had endured a more than 20-hour filibuster against the bill.
The legislation is the central point of a special legislative session called by Nixon.
It would let auto manufacturers keep all or part of the employee withholding taxes they normally would pay Missouri if they improve their factories for new or expanded product lines. It's targeted primarily at Ford's Claycomo plant near Kansas City, which employs about 3,700 people.
Update: Wednesday, July 15 at 9:35 a.m.Missouri senators have overcome a more than 20-hour filibuster and approved new tax breaks aimed at enticing Ford Motor Co. to continue making vehicles at a Kansas City area plant. The legislation passed 20-7 after Republican Sen. Chuck Purgason gave up his filibuster in exasperation shortly before 9 a.m. The bill now needs only final House approval to go to Gov. Jay Nixon. The legislation would let auto manufacturers keep a portion of the employee withholding taxes they normally would pay Missouri if they improve their factories. It's targeted primarily at Ford's Claycomo plant. Purgason, who is running for the U.S. Senate, said Missouri could better boost its economy by offering broad-based tax breaks.
Update: Wednesday, July 14 at 5:31 a.m.
A filibuster has continued all night in the Missouri Senate while critics block a vote on tax incentives aimed at Ford Motor Co.'s plant near Kansas City.
The legislation offers tax incentives to automakers that improve their Missouri factories for new or expanded product lines. More than 17 hours after debate began Tuesday afternoon, critics continued to prevent a vote.
Sen. Chuck Purgason, a Republican from Caulfield, has led the filibuster. He contends Missouri cannot afford to offer the tax breaks. He says the proposal is an example of government's wrong-headed approach to economic development.
The measure is the centerpiece of a special legislative session that leaders hope to conclude later Wednesday.Update: Tuesday, July 13 at 6:33 p.m.
The day began with a lightning-quick vote on the Ford bill by the Fiscal Control Committee. Senate President Charlie Shields took the chair away from Howell County Republican Chuck Purgason, who was blocking the vote.
"I understand Sen. Purgason's concerns, Shields said. He believes the state shouldn't be in the business of economic development. My response to that is that if 49 other states would voluntarily disarm in the economic development fight, that's probably a great position.
The Ford Incentives Bill hit the Senate floor for debate.
Purgason took the opportunity to make an impassioned plea for new thinking. He is offended by the state using money needed for essential services to entice billion-dollar corporations. He said that will never change as long as lawmakers cave to the pressure.
Do we continue doing the same thing over and over again, and hoping that someone in the future makes the tough decisions, Purgason said. Or do we as a body stand up right now and say 'No, this is the year we get reform and we begin the process of going a different direction'
Purgason got help from Jackson County Sen. Matt Bartle to filibuster in an attempt to block the bill.
Watch the video for the full reportUpdate: Tuesday, July 13 at 3:47 p.m. A Missouri state senator is trying to block a vote on a plan aimed at helping a Ford Motor Co. plant near Kansas City. The legislation offers tax incentives to automakers that improve their Missouri factories for new or expanded product lines. Republican Sen. Chuck Purgason of Caulfield was staging a filibuster Tuesday to stall a vote. Purgason was recounting the history of American colonial opposition to the British and reading letters and e-mails from people criticizing the bill. Purgason calls the measure the wrong approach to economic development. He said broad-based tax cuts for small businesses would do more for Missouri's economy than tax breaks targeted for specific big businesses. The automotive incentives are the centerpiece of a special legislative session that leaders hope to wrap up by Wednesday.
Efforts have resumed to pass a Missouri tax incentive plan that aims to keep a Ford Motor Co. plant near Kansas City.
The Senate Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee voted Tuesday to approve the automaker incentives, which clears the measure for debate by the full chamber.
The bill is the focal point of Missouri's special legislative session. It's designed to entice Ford to make its next generation of vehicles at the Claycomo assembly plant.
Committee chairman Chuck Purgason refused to allow a vote on the bill earlier this month because of cost concerns. Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields replaced Purgason on Monday and put himself on the committee.