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Economic discussion to continue this week

Monday, September 12, 2011

This week the Missouri Legislature will continue its special session called by Gov. Jay Nixon in hopes of passing an economic development package to attracting new businesses, create new jobs and reform the state's tax credit structure.

The session got off to a rocky start last Tuesday when Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, kept the floor for more than three hours in an attempt to stop the session from even starting.

After testimony was heard on the bill late into Wednesday night, Senate debate was canceled Thursday and senators were sent home to read a 219-page omnibus economic development bill sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer, R-Dexter.

It includes:

* Tax credits to help attract sporting events to the state.

* $360 million over 16 years in Aerotropolis tax credits for warehouse facilities and airlines to create an international cargo hub at Lambert Airport in St. Louis.

* The Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, which would dedicate a portion of state income tax from new jobs at science and technology companies into a fund to help startups.

* Tax breaks for data centers, which house large computer banks.

* The Compete Missouri Program, which combines six existing state business incentive programs to provide tax incentives for job creation, job retention and capital investment. It would also provide upfront funding for businesses looking to locate here.

* Caps on historic preservation tax credits and low-income housing tax credits. It also bans the practice of "stacking" both low-income and historic preservation tax credits on the same project.

* A provision that would make renters ineligible to receive the senior citizen property tax credit.

* Tax credits for wine and grape producers.

Senators are expected to discuss this legislation Tuesday. Crowell has been a vocal opponent of this economic development proposal, which has been praised by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other business groups.

This week I'll be tweeting during the Senate's debate on this bill, so visit www.twitter.com/semissourianbiz to follow the discussion.

* Saint Francis Medical Center's Services to Business will host its annual Business Health Summit Tuesday, Sept. 20 in the Saint Francis Conference Center.

This full-day conference will provide area human resources professionals, safety officers and risk management personnel with insights about employee workers' compensation and maintaining health and wellness among

employees. Ian Percy, an organizational psychologist will be the keynote presenter. Additional presenters are Dr. Glen E. Cooper and Dr. Dennis J. Straubinger, occupational medicine physicians at Saint Francis; Dr. Phillip E. Tippen, internal medicine physician at Saint Francis; Mike Minicky, safety engineer with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; and Lawrence C. Kasten, administrative law judge in the Division of Workers' Compensation. For more information or to register at no cost, email jstreiler@sfmc.net or call 331-5877. People are asked to register by Thursday, as space is limited.

* Greg Pursley, DC, and Seth Hudson, DC, of Pursley Chiropractic in Cape Girardeau have re-branded their company to PC Wellness Centers in an effort to better reflect the services they provide. In addition to chiropractic care, PC Wellness Centers offers massage therapy, weight loss therapy among other services.

* Cape Bible Chapel will offer a 13-week course by personal money management expert Dave Ramsey titled Financial Pace University beginning Sept. 21. The course consists of 13 lessons taught on DVD by Dave Ramsey. For more information or to register, people may call Kim Swartz, 334-5945.

Southeast Missourian business editor Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or mmiller@semissourian.com.


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