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Nixon Signs Bill to Help MO Compete For Production of Boeing 777X

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – On Tuesday, Dec. 10, Gov. Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 1, a bipartisan legislation to help Missouri compete for production of Boeing's next-generation commercial aircraft, the 777X, in front of the Mercury space capsule at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium in St. Louis.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – On Tuesday, Dec. 10, Gov. Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 1, a bipartisan legislation to help Missouri compete for production of Boeings next-generation commercial aircraft, the 777X, in front of the Mercury space capsule at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium in St. Louis.

Last week, Nixon called the legislature into a special session to help Missouri compete against more than a dozen states for the project. Senate Bill 1 passed the Senate by a vote of 23-8 and the House by a vote of 127-20 in less than five days.

“Just as workers right here in St. Louis helped our nation reach for the stars by building the Mercury space capsules a half century ago, today we send clear message that Missouri is ready to open the next great chapter for high-tech aerospace manufacturing in our state,” Gov. Nixon says in a news release. “This bipartisan legislation demonstrates once again that when it comes to opportunities to create thousands of family-supporting jobs and grow our high-tech manufacturing industry, Missouri competes to win.”

According to a news release, winning production of the aircraft would bring billions of dollars in new investment and thousands of new advanced manufacturing jobs to the St. Louis region and throughout the state by creating opportunities for a new supplier base.

Senate Bill 1 provides additional capacity of up to $150 million annually for an aerospace project that creates at least 2,000 jobs under four of Missouri’s performance-based economic development programs: Missouri Works, Missouri Works Training, Missouri BUILD, and the Real Property Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act.

The total amount of benefits Boeing could earn would be based on the number of new jobs created and the wages of those jobs, the amount of new capital investment, and the cost of training workers to build this next-generation aircraft.

Under these programs, a project must demonstrate a net positive fiscal benefit to the state, before any incentives may be authorized. In addition, companies must invest and create jobs first before being eligible to defray these costs by keeping a portion of the revenue they generate. By retaining these existing safeguards and creating a separate cap to accommodate an aerospace project of this scale, Missouri can compete to win production of the 777X without jeopardizing other economic development projects or investments in public education or other vital services.

“The way these programs work is that companies, including Boeing, must invest and create jobs first, then and only then are they eligible to defray the cost of that investment and job creation by keeping a portion of the new revenue they generate. So it is not like writing a check,” says Gov. Nixon in the release. “By using the same time-tested economic development programs we’ve used to bring our unemployment rate to a five-year low and protect our AAA credit rating, this legislation puts Missouri in a strong position to compete for the Boeing 777X without putting taxpayers at risk or undermining support for public education.”

Senate Bill 1, combined with the strong support from the education and labor communities, hopes to help the state to submit a competitive response to Boeing’s Request for Proposal, which is due by close of business today (Dec. 10).

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