State lawmakers want specifics in Boeing deal

Incentives bills head to committees Tuesday

Lawmakers start Boeing bid session

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Republican lawmakers agree with Governor Jay Nixon that the state should be wooing Boeing Co.'s big 777X project, but want to see more specifics before passing his proposal

Lawmakers reconvened for a special session Monday afternoon. Majority leaders in both the House and Senate met with Gov. Nixon before a brief whole body sessions.

Bills authorizing an incentives package of up to $150 million annually for Boeing Co. were introduced in both chambers Monday. The proposal would work within four existing Missouri programs that help finance job training, infrastructure improvements and reward companies for expanding their payrolls.

"I think this opportunity is real," said Sen. Eric Schmitt (R - Glendale). "I think Missouri and Saint Louis, in particular, has a long history in the aerospace world."

Schmitt sponsored the Governor's bill in the Senate, economic development committee chair Anne Zerr (R -St. Charles) introduced the bill in the House.

But lawmakers must move quickly, Boeing Co. has a hard deadline for responses to a request for proposals of Tuesday, December 10. Missouri faces stiff competition from about one dozen other states.

"I had good solid discussions with both the House and the Senate today," Gov. Jay Nixon told reporters Monday. "All of those discussions have been civil and focused on the important issues today and I look forward to that continuing."

Committees in both chambers had scheduled hearings on the bills starting Tuesday evening. Lawmakers said business and civic leaders from the St. Louis-area would be testifying, but it was unclear if Boeing representatives would be present.

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