KC Mayor James on Border War: ” We are Not Afraid of Kansas”
February 8, 2013

Kansas City Mayor Sly James testifies to Mo. House panel in economic border war hearing

Kansas City-Mayor Sly James defended Kansas City and the Missouri side economies during a Committee hearing today.
Missouri lawmakers came to Kansas City to hear of the ‘ business poaching Border War. Kansas City and the state of Kansas have been battling over moving businesses back and forth across the state line. ” We are not afraid of Kansas,” James declared, “They don’t scare us”.
He called a series of personal and business tax cuts enacted in Kansas, “a bauble”, that may or may not work.
He said the bauble is, “cut all taxes and they will come”.
James pushed hard for state lawmakers to approve a new tax credit designed to attract new companies to the state
He also admitted the city’s main liability in the Border War may be education
The Kansas City,Missouri school district is one of 14 school systems in the city limits. The turmoil and controversy of a lack of accreditation and potential of a state takeover in that district often steers new residents away from the city James observed. He urged the law makers to pay attention to education policy.
James says ” education is the biggest economic development tool we have that we pay the least amount if attention to”.

Mo. Speaker Jones Starts Tour to Pitch ‘3-E’ Plan
December 11, 2012

Southeast Missourian:
Missouri’s Speaker of the House, Tim Jones, R-Eureka, outlined a three-part priority plan for the upcoming legislative session Monday when he stopped at My Daddy’s Cheesecake in Cape Girardeau to meet with local legislators and the public.
Jones’ appearance was part of a multiday tour this week through 21 Missouri cities where the representative is pitching his “Triple E Plan” of economic development, energy and education issues. He hopes the issues will be addressed when the Missouri House and Senate return for their regular session in January.

He spoke in support of legislation he said would reform the state’s tax credit system, remove regulation from businesses, place caps on amounts paid in medical malpractice lawsuits and give control of education to local communities. Jones also brought up the possible future use of bonds for infrastructure improvements.

Jones will work with a veto-proof Republican majority in the state legislature during the 2013 session.

He called Monday’s topics a “broad overview of what I think the challenges are that are facing our state and our legislature, and some of the things we are going to be working on.”

Specifics for addressing each of the issues in the plan are not yet complete, according to Jones, and the agenda is not all-encompassing. But he did discuss legislation prefiled in the Senate that he said would have some effect on economic development and job creation, particularly tax credit reform, tax deductions for business income and corporate income tax reduction.
More: http://www.semissourian.com/story/1921289.html

Nixon’s Eco Devo Chief To Leave
November 15, 2011

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is losing one of the key advisors, Economic Development Director David Kerr.
Nixon’s office says Kerr will leave at the end if the year.
He has led Missouri’s economic development operations since 2009.
Neither Nixon nor Kerr gave any reason for his departure. But Nixon prized his work.
“David Kerr and I have worked closely together to create jobs and move our economy forward, and he has been a trusted and valuable member of my team,” Gov. Nixon said in a news release.
Kerr will continue to work for the Governor on one of Nixon’s pet projects, a long term strategy to lute 21st century jobs and businesses to Missouri.
That bid suffered a set back this fall. A two
Month-long special session collapsed without producing a jobs bill for Missouri.

“Our work with leaders from the private sector from every corner of Missouri has given our state a sharp, focused and aggressive plan to create jobs and transform our economy over the next five years,”Director Kerr said in the same release.

Special Session, A Burial at Sea?
October 26, 2011

Kansas City Democratic Minority leader Mike Talboy calls the just-ended special session, “the Lost Legislative Session”.

The effort to pass a major economic development bill died quietly Tuesday. It was the political version of an anonymous burial at sea.

The AP reports it took about 40 seconds for Senate leader Rob Mayer to call the State Senate into Session. He then called on Republican Leader Senator Tom Dempsey, the only other senator present. Dempsey moved to adjourn. They both voted to adjourn, that was it.

The session’s major effort was to draw up and approve a jobs bill for the state. Kansas City officials and some local law makers were pushing for a jobs retention bill. They hoped that would provide enough extra tax incentives to keep existing Missouri companies from being lured across the state line into Kansas. Locally, it was referred to as ’business poaching’.

The economic development measures were caught in a battle between House and Senate Republicans over whether or not some reforms on tax credits should be permanent or limited to a certain amount of time.

The legislature did manage to pass a bills reforming Missouri’s ‘Facebook Law’. That will clear up language that will allow educators to use social media more freely in the classroom. Another measure, aimed at attracting more life science and high-tech companies into Missouri also passed. But that measure, the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, (MOSIRA), is linked to the dead jobs bill. Governor Jay Nixon’s office says it is looking at signing the measure despite the connection to the jobs bill.

The legislature also failed to move the Missouri presidential primary from February 7 back until March 6. Republican National Committee rules insisted the date be moved back, or the Missouri GOP would risk losing delegates to the national convention next summer.

Instead, the state GOP will hold a non-binding “beauty contest” primary on Feb.7. The delegate selection process will start with a statewide St. Patrick’s Day caucus on March 17.

According to the state, the session, that started September 6 and died Tuesday costs taxpayers about $280,000.

State senate to Investigate Broken Eco Devo Deal in Moberly
September 27, 2011

(AP) — State senators said Monday they planned to investigate a so-far unfulfilled central Missouri project that was to use public incentives and employ several hundred people to manufacture artificial sweetener.

The project by Mamtek U.S. Inc. was backed by $39 million in industrial development bonds issued by Moberly to finance the construction of a factory. The state offered more than $17 million worth of incentives and the company was to get $8 million in private investment. But the plant remains under construction, Mamtek has laid off its employees and the company missed its first bond payment.

State officials have said Mamtek did not receive any state funds.

Missouri senators said that the planned to examine state government’s role in the project, particularly how it was handled by the Department of Economic Development. The Senate Committee on Government Accountability was to conduct the probe.

Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer, whose district includes Moberly, said it was important to learn what happened to protect other communities in the future.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said last that week that he was investigating to determine whether any civil or criminal laws were violated. Koster said he would assist the Randolph County prosecutor and that the review had started immediately.

Meanwhile, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported Monday ( http://bit.ly/rhmGys ) that principal investors in Mamtek have formed a new company and told local officials that they plan to complete the factory project.

The Moberly Area Economic Development Corp. said the city received a written commitment from American Sucralose Manufacturing Inc. to make up the missed bond payment and “cure deficiencies and undertake completion of the project under city supervision.”