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This Week in the Governor’s Office: Week of Jan. 23

Gov. Eric Greitens had another busy week, the most significant event of which was his decision to form a special committee calling for a review and audit of the state’s tax credits Wednesday. The simply-named Governor’s Committee for Simple, Fair, and Low Taxes will assess the impact of Missouri’s current tax credits and entertain the possibility of financing tax rate cuts with cuts to tax credit programs.

“What our people want is a tax system that is simple, fair, and low. What we have instead is a tax system that is complex, corrupt, and high,” Greitens said in social media post. “Our argument is clear: A simple and fair tax system will help create jobs.”

Greitens will name four people to the committee, but he also charged House Speaker Todd Richardson and Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard with nominating three members for their respective bodies. Richardson said he would select his sometime next week, but Richard chose Sens. Will Kraus, Andrew Koenig and Dan Hegeman. Kraus serves as the Chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and Koenig chaired the House Ways and Means Committee during his last two years in the House.

The tight budget situation of the state has likely prompted the committee’s formation, which will be required to report its findings by the end of June.

Greitens forms special committee to audit tax credits

Greitens also announced the date of the special election to fill the vacant Senate seat of Lt. Gov. Mike Parson. The district comprising an area north of Springfield made up of parts of Benton, Cedar, Dallas, Hickory, Laclede, Pettis, Polk, and St. Clair Counties will hold a special election Aug. 8, 2017.

Beyond that, Greitens touted news that AgIdea, an agricultural research company based in Argentina, would open its North American headquarters in Missouri.

“This is a proud moment for Missouri. Battista and his team chose Missouri because of our leadership in the field of agriculture, potential customers, and our workforce,” Greitens said in a social media post. “I pledged to him that my team stands ready to help with AgIdea’s expansion into our state. He is excited about conservative leadership that will help create an ideal environment for businesses to grow and prosper.”

Monday morning, Greitens spoke at a meeting of the Federalist Society’s Missouri chapters in the state Capitol, urging them to spread the ideals of the U.S. Constitution to their friends, neighbors, and communities. He also attended the State of the Judiciary address Tuesday morning.

Greitens and First Lady Sheena Greitens also held their first dinner in the Governor’s Mansion, and Greitens took time Tuesday to thank St. Louis firefighters Thursday for their efforts in fighting a blaze. The fire caused eight critical injuries.