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Mo. House seeks compromise with Senate on tax credit bill

Mo. Capitol
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)
Mo. Capitol

The Missouri House has done an about-face and now wants a joint committee to negotiate a final version of a wide-ranging tax credit bill that has divided the House andSenatethroughout the ongoing special session.

House Speaker Steven Tilley(R, Perryville) had suggested weeks ago that a conference committee wasn’t necessary and that any differences on tax credits could be worked out during floor debates.  Senate President Pro-tem Rob Mayer (R, Dexter), meanwhile, had pushed for going to conference because that’s the normal route for reaching compromise on bills.  Tilley says he’s decided to take Mayer at his word.

“The President (Pro-tem) of the Senate was insistent, ‘Hey, we need to go to conference, we need to let the process play out,’ so we’re like, ‘Okay,'" Tilley said.  "I would just ask him to take his own advice and let the process play out.” 

On Monday, Mayer persuaded the Senate not to go to conference, saying that both sides are too far apart with too little time left in the special session.  There’s no word yet on whether he will change his mind.  The Senate has a technical session scheduled next week. 

House and Senate leaders have been divided over whether tax credits for low-income housing and historic preservation should have seven-year expiration dates, or sunsets, a position demanded by the Senate and opposed by the House.  Tilley says he hopes something can be salvaged from what has been a disappointing special session.

“You’ve got 9 percent unemployment, you’ve got families out there that are struggling," Tilley told reporters today.  "If we’re not able to get the data storage (incentives), the amateur sports, the Aerotropolis, I think it’s clearly been a failure…you want me to speak the truth, that’s the truth.”

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.