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Mo. House gives 1st round approval to jobs bill

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a job creation bill.

It includes renewal of former Governor Matt Blunt's Quality Jobs program, where participating companies agree to pay half the cost of health care coverage for their workers.

State Representative Rachel Storch (D, St. Louis) sponsored an amendment to the bill that contains $10 million in tax credits for biotechnology research and development.

"These tools are what we need in our toolbox as a state to pull ourselves out of the economic situation we find ourselves in...these are targeted investments that we're making that will strengthen the economy, that will expand jobs that are here," Storch said.

There was some Republican opposition to the amendment, over concerns that the tax breaks could go to companies that engage in embryonic stem cell research.

But leaders from both parties urged approval.

A final House vote on the amended bill is scheduled Thursday.