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Missouri governor calls special session in effort to woo Boeing to St. Louis County

Updated: 2013-11-30T04:07:22Z

By JASON HANCOCK

The Star’s Jefferson City Correspondent

— Missouri lawmakers will return to the state Capitol on Monday to debate a $150 million incentive package aimed at tempting Boeing Co. to build its new 777X passenger airliner in St. Louis County.

In calling for a special legislative session, Gov. Jay Nixon said Boeing has set a Dec. 10 deadline to accept bids from states angling for the manufacturing facility and the thousands of jobs it would bring with it.

The governor is asking lawmakers to expand four of Missouri’s existing economic development programs up to $150 million a year –– and for both the House and Senate to do so in a week.

“Building this next-generation commercial aircraft in Missouri would create thousands of jobs across our state and secure our position as a hub for advanced aerospace manufacturing –– and that’s why I am committed to competing for and winning this project,” Nixon said in a written statement.

Republican legislative leaders have publicly supported crafting an incentive package to woo Boeing, although they wanted to see more details of the plan.

One Republican senator –– John Lamping of Ladue –– told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that any incentives for Boeing would have to be offset by cuts to other tax credit programs.

As many as 15 other states are pursuing the company, which began shopping for a new home for its Washington state manufacturing facility after its machinist union rejected a proposed contract tied to the deal.

Boeing already employs about 15,000 people in Missouri, including thousands of machinists in the St. Louis area.

During a special session, lawmakers can only take up legislation included in the agenda set by the governor. Other than the Boeing incentive package, Nixon gave the Senate permission to consider his appointments various boards and agencies.

To reach Jason Hancock, call 573-634-3565 or send email to jhancock@kcstar.com.

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