Fighter Jets Latest Bone of Contention In Jefferson City
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A new wrinkle of disagreement has emerged in Missouri’s special legislative session on business incentives: State lawmakers and Gov. Jay
Nixon now apparently are at odds over the production of military fighter jets.
The dispute comes after the Missouri House took a roughly half hour break from its debate last week over a wide-ranging business-incentive bill to instead discuss and pass a resolution urging Congress to provide full funding for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.
Although the plane is made by Lockheed Martin Corp. in Texas, the House resolution notes that its supplying companies employ more than 500 people in Missouri.
Nixon responded with a written statement last week asserting that the House resolution “simply is not the position of the state of Missouri.”
Instead, the governor emphasized Missouri’s support for Boeing Co., makes the F/A-18 jet in St. Louis.
Boeing said it employs about 15,000 people in Missouri, including about 5,000 connected with the F/A-18.
Was the House resolution a slap to one of Missouri’s biggest employers? Or was Nixon overreacting to a symbolic gesture that has no real effect?
The resolution’s sponsor, state Rep. Caleb Jones, R-California, said Monday that he had not intended to stir up controversy.
‘I’m a big fan of Boeing they’re one of our largest employers in the state and I strongly support them,” said Jones, the vice chairman of the House Economic Development Committee. “I also support different companies from throughout Missouri.”
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press