Missouri Special Session Collapses Over Jobs Bill

Frustration is building in Missouri, where state lawmakers have been in a special session since early September but are nowhere near an agreement on the economic development legislation that is the session's main business.

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon called the Republican-led legislature back to work, framing Missouri's unemployment rate and struggling economy as a crisis that needed to be addressed immediately. Both sides expressed optimism that the state could pass a series of economic development measures, led by an ambitious new air cargo hub at St. Louis airport .

But the air cargo project, dubbed "Aerotropolis," has fallen victim to GOP in-fighting, as Republicans in the state Senate have faced off with members of their own party in the House over the scope of the plan. Nixon has largely stayed in the background, though on Thursday (October 20) he all but declared the session a costly failure.

"It's time for them to stop expending the taxpayers' dollars," Nixon said, according to The Kansas City Star . "We went in with good intentions. That consensus eroded."

Under state law, the paper notes, the session officially ends on November 5, and lawmakers technically could still find a deal in the next two weeks. "For all practical purposes," however, according to the paper, "the special session staggered to a conclusion last week with first the Senate, then the House, meeting and then heading home without plans for further negotiations."

The session has cost taxpayers about $250,000 so far.

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