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Gov. Nixon Signs Bipartisan Jobs Bill During Stops in St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia

June 04, 2009

Gov. Jay Nixon visits STLCC-Forest Park.  
Patricia McEwen, dean of allied health and natural
sciences at STLCC-Forest Park, shows Gov. Jay Nixon
renovations to the campus science lab completed last
fall.

Gov. Jay Nixon today traveled to St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia to sign one of his top legislative priorities into law: House Bill 191, the bipartisan jobs bill. This bill provides critical resources to help businesses create new jobs, expand their operations and train the workers they need to fill the jobs of tomorrow.

“At a time when Missouri is facing a 25-year high in unemployment, it’s vital that we take decisive action to help businesses create jobs in our state and train our work force for the industries of tomorrow,” Gov. Nixon said. “My top priority for this legislative session was to work with legislators from both sides of the aisle to pass a comprehensive, forward-looking jobs bill.  Thanks to hard work by both Democratic and Republican leaders, we met that goal, and I’m proud to sign our jobs bill into law. By expanding the number of economic tools at our disposal, we’ll make sure the world knows Missouri is open for businesses, and we’ll get our workers back on the job.”

During Nixon’s stop at the St. Louis Community College-Forest Park campus, Chancellor Zelema Harris noted that the bill makes improvements in key economic development programs that will encourage business expansion and the creation of high-paying jobs necessary for the St. Louis region to be competitive.

“Of great importance to us at St. Louis Community College, the bill includes a pre-employment training program that will help ensure that new Missouri business partners and expanding Missouri companies will have access to the trained employees they need to operate in Missouri and refuel the state’s economy,” she said. “The state will not find a partner more experienced than the community college in providing this pre-employment, workforce readiness training as evidenced by our successful programs with major employers like Boeing and AmerenUE. It is clear to us that Gov. Nixon recognizes that meaningful opportunity and growth for Missouri requires smart incentives and qualified workers.”  

During his transition into office, Nixon outlined the Show-Me Jobs Initiative, a bipartisan plan to create jobs and get Missourians back to work. Key points in the Show-Me Jobs Initiative included expansions of the state’s successful Quality Jobs, Missouri BUILD and Job-Training programs.  HB 191 accomplishes each of these goals:

  • The bill increases the annual cap on the Quality Jobs Program from $60 million to $80 million and removes the annual per-company cap for jobs in the high-impact and technology categories.
  • The bill increases the annual cap on the Missouri BUILD (Business Use Incentives for Large-Scale Development) from $15 million to $25 million and removes the provision requiring the company to seek a competitive bid from another state.
  • The bill provides funding for pre-employment training activities under the state’s Job-Training Program.

The bill received strong, bipartisan support in both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly.  In the Senate, lawmakers passed the bill by a vote of 28-to-6, and the bill passed in the House 153-to-2.

Full text of HB 191 is available online at:

http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills091/biltxt/truly/HB0191T.HTM