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Springfield, MO

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Opinion: Legislators need special session date

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Dear Gov. Nixon,

We appreciate your public support for the legislature’s hard work during the past eight months in crafting a bipartisan compromise on comprehensive job creation legislation and restoring fiscal accountability of Missouri’s economic development programs. Both Missouri House and Senate members have worked tirelessly to create innovative jobs programs, $1.5 billion in savings and greater accountability, while significantly eliminating “pay-to-play” politics in the Department of Economic Development and in the administration of Missouri’s tax incentive programs.

It has been nearly four weeks since your announcement of a special session, and we still have not seen any language or even a draft of your call. You unilaterally announced, via press release, that you were exempting land assemblage from the reform bill. … You cannot expect us to succeed if you exempt critical reforms and ignore months of work that both House and Senate leaders have spent to write this historic legislation. …

We are relying on you to keep your word and call the legislature into session to pass legislation to assist the private sector in creating desperately needed jobs.

While the national economy impacts Missouri, our state unemployment is higher than most of our neighboring states. As you know, Missouri had the third-worst job loss rate in the country last year. This month alone, Kansas City and St. Louis ranked as the No. 1 and No. 2 cities with the greatest loss in home values. Texas and many other states are creating jobs and growing their economy. It is time to quit blaming everything on Washington or waiting for them to bail us out. It is time we all take responsibility by taking action.

We do not have a firm date on when you might call the legislature into session. We are a citizen legislature and many members will have to leave their farms, small business and families to come to Jefferson City for a special session. They deserve to be given time to plan and make arrangements with their families and employers so they can devote the time taxpayers deserve to debate and pass a comprehensive jobs bill.

—Robert Mayer, Senate President Pro Tempore, and Steven Tilley, House Speaker[[In-content Ad]]

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