NEW MADRID, Mo. — As anticipation builds toward Monday at 4:00 p.m. when the Gov. Eric Greitens has set for a special legislative session to allow the General Assembly the opportunity to pass legislation that would provide the Public Service Commission more opportunities to attract industry to Missouri, rumors and posturing have begun to swirl.
As legislative aides prepare versions of legislation to be considered next week, one theory in halls is that some are pressuring senators to change the deal on the grid infrastructure portion of the bill.
“The reason this is a good bill and the reason everyone has said the Governor did a good job with his call is that the entire state benefits from this legislation,” Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis City. “The Bootheel with an iron smelter with 700 jobs and the rest of the state with the 3,000 jobs that upgrading our grid infrastructure could create. Your word is your bond and this is what we agreed to, something for the whole state to benefit from.”
Rep. Don Rone, R-New Madrid, said that he expects to carry the legislation in the house again and “a deal is a deal.”
“We desperately need these jobs they are something to hope for in our area where we were devastated when Noranda went out,” Rone said. “This bill is not everything I want, but you have to compromise, and in the bootheel a deal is a deal and I’m not in favor of going back on our word.”
In other news surrounding special session, Greitens is making stops Saturday at the former Noranda factory, Poplar Bluff, Dexter, and Sikeston to build support for the bill.
Sen. Doug Libla, R-Poplar Bluff, has come out against the legislation that would bring the smelter to his district. While respected throughout the Bootheel, Libla has come under some pressure back home on social media to agree to a compromise to secure the jobs received a boost in support when a local newspaper launched an over the top attack photoshopping a picture of him on the front page.
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton, Mo; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.