Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon today called a special session of the Show Me State’s General Assembly to craft incentives to attract production of Boeing’s next-generation 777X aircraft.
“Legislative action is necessary in order for Missouri to put forward a competitive proposal,” the governor said in a statement.
The governor’s office said the session will convene at 4 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2.
According to the statement, state responses to Boeing’s request are due by Dec. 10.
Boeing said it was inviting more than a dozen states to submit proposals for the 777X assembly plant and a wing fabrication facility after the Puget Sound area’s Machinists union voted by 2-to-1 to reject a long-term contract that paired substantial cuts to members’ benefits and pay scale with an assurance the plane would be built here.
Nixon is seeking legislation adding additional capacity of up to $150 million annually for large-scale aerospace projects under four of Missouri’s existing economic development programs.
“It’s important to note that these are the same targeted, fiscally responsible programs that are available to any company creating significant numbers of high-paying, family-supporting jobs,” said Nixon. “This legislation will simply give us added capacity to compete for this type of massive aerospace project, while maintaining existing accountability measures and ensuring a positive return for taxpayers. Aerospace companies like Boeing will have to invest and create jobs in order to earn these benefits.”
The state Legislature has been divided in recent years on using tax credits to bolster the state’s aerospace industry, notes St. Louis Public Radio:
“In 2009 they approved $240 million in incentives in a failed attempt to lure Bombardier Aerospace to Kansas City to build aircraft there. Then in 2011, disagreements between House and Senate Republicans contributed to the failure to pass a $360 million incentives package to turn Lambert Airport in St. Louis into an international air cargo hub. A scaled-back version of the so-called”Aerotropolis” proposal failed during the Show-Me State’s last special session later that year.”
The governor also wants to create a consortium of area community colleges “to train and certify thousands of additional graduates in aerospace and advanced manufacturing areas to grow a pipeline of highly-skilled workers for this project and others in this sector,” the statement said.