by Michael R. Allen
On the floor of the Missouri House of Representatives today, Rep. Jamilah Nasheed (D-60th) offered two measures that offer a chance to see the consistency in the positions of members of the St. Louis delegation on the Distressed Areas Land Assemblage Tax Credit Act (DALATCA).
Nasheed first offered an amendment wthat ould have removed DALATCA entirely from the economic development bill that is the focus of this special session of the Missouri legislature. That amendment failed by a vote of 62-86. All of the St. Louis city delegation voted “yea”: Mike Daus, T.D. El-Amin, Rodney Hubbard, Connie Johnson, Jeanette Mott Oxford, Rachel Storch, Tom Villa and Robyn Wright-Jones.
Nasheed later called for the vote on DALATCA to be separated from the larger economic development bill. That measure yielded a 106-45 vote in favor of DALATC, which now passes the House. While Daus, Nasheed, Oxford, Storch and Wright-Jones maintained a consistent position and voted against, Hubbard, Johnson, Villa and El-Amin voted in favor. Hubbard declared the proposal palatable because a symbolic local control measure was included; never mind that only one developer in the state will be likely to qualify for the tax credit.
Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford (D-59th) had intended to offer a comprehensive measure to overhaul DALATCA with the same acreage requirements advanced by Hubbard in committee (maximum project size of 30 acres, minimum acquisition of two acres). However, House Speaker Rod Jetton ruled her amendment out of order because it did not correspond to the detailed call-to-session instructions of Governor Matt Blunt, who stipulated the DALATCA should have an minimum acquisition requirement of 50 acres and minimum project requirement of 75 acres. Without a change in acreage numbers, local control is a moot point.
Whether or not the governor’s stipulation of acreage constitutes legislation by the executive branch should be an interesting question to answer.