No Special Session Puts China Hub at Risk
St. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – There’s been another flurry of speculation on the status of talks between state lawmakers and Governor Jay Nixon on the proposed St. Louis China Hub or as it’s sometimes called Aerotropolis.
Some state lawmakers say they are close to an agreement on a $360 million dollar dollar plus tax break deal to lure the Chinese to Lambert International Airport. But are the politicians who are close to the deal pushing a compromise on the wrong issues?
There was early disagreement among the House and Senate leadership about how to pay for the incentive tax package. In May Missouri lawmakers went home for the summer without acting on the China Hub tax breaks.
Republican House Speaker Steve Tilley is one of those leading the fight for a special session in September. Tilley says interested parties are still talking.
“Since that time the House and Senate leadership has been meeting to try to bridge the gap and we’ve made a lot of progress, I will tell you we’re very close and so my hope is we can get it done.”
Speaker Tilley says the legislature needs to move on this or we could lose it to some other city that’s just waiting for Missouri to fail.
“I’d love to sit down and visit with Governor Nixon and say here’s what we’ve agreed upon, we’d love to have you call a special session and then find out if he’s willing to or not.”
Reports earlier this month have Governor Nixon concerned about accountability and the potential benefit to St. Louis developer Paul McKee. There have been reports of the governor calling on Democrats to stick together and not to side with the pro China Hub lawmakers.
Speaker Tilley says he’s not conspiring with the Democrats to defy the governor .
“It would be pretty hard tough to argue that it’s (china Hub) not good for the taxpayers when the deal saves $1.5 billion dollars over 15 years.”
There is no word out of the governor’s office on if and when a special session will take place.