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GM, workforce development bill signed into law by Parson

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson signed more than a dozen bills into law Wednesday afternoon, including a massive workforce development measure that took precedent for Missouri’s chief executive and Senate Republicans during the legislative session. 

“From day one, workforce development has been a major focus of our administration,” Parson said. “This legislation gives us the tools we need to be more competitive and shows companies everywhere that Missouri is open for business. We’re excited about this great step forward and will continue to invest in Missouri workers, help companies grow, and keep quality jobs here in our state.” 

Republican Sen. Lincoln Hough’s SB 68 survived a nearly 30-hour filibuster waged by Senate conservatives before it passed the upper chamber in a 25-8 vote in May. The workforce development package establishes the Missouri One Start Program with incentives spurred by a potential $1 billion investment from General Motors in its Wentzville plant and the inclusion of a Fast-Track grant program. 

Hough called the legislation a “comprehensive package of economic development tools meant to move Missouri to the top of the pack and send a clear signal to the rest of the country that we want to aggressively cultivate and expand our state’s workforce.” 

“This new law will help propel Missourians into better economic opportunities that will allow them to make a better living and support their families,” Hough said in a statement after the bill signing. “Missourians have amazing potential, and this new law will help open the door to those opportunities. [SB 68] is about showing businesses across the country that Missouri is not only open for business, but that we look forward to partnering with companies that make investments in our communities, our working families, and the future of innovation.”

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry also praised the signing of SB 68. 

“This law will benefit employers of all sizes in Missouri — from empowering thousands of Missourians to equip themselves with in-demand skills, to giving job creators better access to critical workforce resources, to boosting the effectiveness of our state’s economic development tools,” Daniel P. Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber, said, praising Parson and Hough specifically. 

Parson also signed SB 180 from Republican Sen. Wayne Wallingford which creates an additional tax credit under the Missouri Works Program for the expansion and improvement of military bases and installations that increase personnel. 

“SB 180 amends the Missouri Works Program operated by the Department of Economic Development to give Missouri the incentive tools it needs to attract new military jobs to Missouri.  SB 180 adds the Department of Defense to employers who are qualified under the program and creates a mechanism to use the incentives generated by the Missouri Works Program to support the location of new military personnel and facilities in Missouri,” Wallingford explained.

“This is important to our state because defense and national security spending has a $30 billion economic impact on Missouri, provides $10 billion in wages, and is responsible for supporting 180,000 jobs,” he told The Missouri Times.

Additionally, Parson signed five other bills Wednesday afternoon. 

  • SB 17 from Sen. Gary Romine: modifies provisions related to public employee retirement systems, including the Local Government Employees’ Retirement System (LAGERS) and the Public School Retirement System of Missouri (PSRS)
  • SB 54 from Sen. Sandy Crawford: enacts provisions related to insurance companies
  • SB 89 from Sen. Doug Libla: enacts provisions related to transportation, maintaining commercial driver’s instruction permits are nonrenewable and lengthens the period for which those permits are valid
  • SB 230 from Crawford: modifies various provisions related to venue in guardianship and conservatorship proceedings, including with public defenders, venue for certain corporations in civil proceedings, and the ABLE account assets
  • HB 1008 from Rep. Dan Houx: modifies laws related to state agencies, including the Office of Administration (OA)

Houx’s bill, called the “Million Dollar Boondoggle Act,” instructs OA to establish a public report on specific projects that are either at least one year behind schedule or at least $1 million over budget to the General Assembly. 

Parson, a Republican, has been on a marathon of bill signings this week ahead of the July 14 veto deadline. Earlier this week, Parson signed a bevy of criminal justice and public safety bills, tort reform legislation, and others

Legislation signed by Parson will go into effect on August 28.