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General Motors discusses expansion plan with state leaders

General Motors discusses expansion plan with state leaders

May 3rd, 2019 by Associated Press in Missouri News

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — General Motors officials met behind closed doors with Gov. Mike Parson and other state and local leaders Thursday to discuss a possible $1 billion expansion of the company's truck and van plant in Wentzville.

Missouri will compete with other states for the expansion project, and it remains unclear what incentives the company is seeking or the potential cost to taxpayers, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The project would include an unspecified number of new jobs, but few other details were released.

"I'm excited that Missouri has a seat at the table to compete for a tremendous opportunity that will provide a boost to our state and to our regional economy," Parson told reporters.

The incentive package likely will be a combination of infrastructure spending, tax incentives and subsidies, Parson said.

Any proposal would have to be approved by the Legislature, which is approaching the final two weeks of this year's session. Parson and others said they believe a package could be done quickly and would not require a special session.

House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, said lawmakers and the governor's office would work over the weekend on an incentive package and he expects to know the potential cost by next week.

Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, said state and company officials discussed a $22 million Fast Track scholarship program that could help land the project.

Eigel and other members of a Conservative Caucus have blocked passage of the program in a dispute over school choice tax breaks. Eigel said after Thursday's meeting it was too early to say whether the caucus would continue blocking the scholarships, but he called the GM deal and "unprecedented opportunity."

The Wentzville plant currently employs about 3,500 workers, who build the mid-size Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks and GM's full-size vans.