Senate passes Wasson’s job training bill before Spring Break

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Hours before leaving the Capitol for the start of Spring Break, the Missouri Senate took a final vote on a job training bill they had been working on throughout the week.

Sen. Jay Wasson, R-Nixa, filed SB 10, which seeks to modify parts of the Missouri Works and Missouri Works Training programs, and allow for more flexibility among community colleges for economic development.

Under the provisions of the bill, it would allow the DED to contract with other entities for advertising, marketing, and promotion of the Missouri Works Training program, with a cap of $50,000 annually. It also allows the DED to provide assistance to Missouri Works Job Development Fund if the majority of companies meet qualified standards.

Currently, Missouri Works Training projects are funded by redirecting withholding taxes from companies, but this act allows the Department of Economic Development to provide up-front funding from appropriations from the general revenue fund. In short, money from tax credits that would be involved with payroll tax would be moved over to appropriations and give both the Department of Economic Development and community colleges more flexibility.

“I think it brings us more on the level with a lot of the other states who have been doing a better job than possibly we have,” Wasson said.

“This gives people a lot of hope and opportunity,” Sen. Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff, said, speaking in support of the bill. “Retaining jobs is just as important as creating new ones.”

The Senate approved the measure with 28 senators voting in favor of the bill, which now heads to the House.

Benjamin Peters is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine, and also produces the #MoLeg Podcast. He joined the Missouri Times in 2016 after working as a sports editor and TV news producer in mid-Missouri. Benjamin is a graduate of Missouri State University in Springfield. To contact Benjamin, email benjamin@themissouritimes.com or follow him on Twitter @BenjaminDPeters.