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Local lawmakers would like to see the Senate take action on Gov. Jay Nixon’s jobs bill, but some just are not listening.
The bill passed the House last month with little opposition but has been stalled in the Senate for weeks while some senators debate the merit of tax credits.
The debate has stalled many items of legislation because some senators, such as Republicans Jason Crowell and Brad Lager are holding a stance against the credits. The small group of senators believes all state appropriations should go through the state legislature.
Earlier this week Nixon blasted the Senate for not moving on the bill saying that it cost Lee’s Summit 900 jobs that moved to Michigan.
“We have a jobs bill that went through here in two weeks,” Rep. Bob Nance said. “Now it’s over in the Senate and they’re bickering about it. We may have lost 900 jobs in Lee’s Summit already.
“That loss of 900 jobs–they’re gone,” he added. “Maybe you might get those jobs in 10 years but those jobs are gone.”
Nance does not disagree that there may be a need for capping tax credits or other legislation, however now is not the time.
“They need to come a little more in-line with the House position,” Nance said. “Maybe we have a cap on tax credits. We need to get the jobs bill through and get people back to work.
“I understand some of their points but we need to put people back to work,” he added.
“If they want to work on these tax credits next year or in the interim committee fine but we need to get people back to work.”
Nance also said the legislature and the governor promised Missourians that they would work together to get something done.
“We claimed that was one of the most important things and we haven’t accomplished that yet.”
Senator Bill Stouffer commented this week in his column on the issue and said he agrees with some of the issues.
“I agree we need to cap tax credits,” Stouffer said in his column. “We cannot keep handing out taxpayer money without legislative scrutiny and without limits. I agree with studying the programs and seeing which ones work and which do not, but I also think there is no reason to just kill them altogether.
“At the same time, we have an obligation to get as many people back to work as possible, and we can do this without raising taxes or handing out money under the guise of a bailout,” Stouffer added.
Stouffer, however, did defend his colleagues concerned about the tax credits.
“Folks also have to remember the Senate is a more deliberative body than the Missouri House. It is our role to make sure what we pass is the correct route for the state to take,” he said in his column. “But passing a bill for the sake of passing a bill will not drop the unemployment rate and put folks back to work. It is our duty and obligation in the Senate to do what is best for the taxpayers of our great state.”