Springfield leaders believe Senate Bill 68 could develop a stronger local workforce

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Lawmakers passed Senate Bill 68 Tuesday after more than a day-long filibuster. The bill focuses on workforce and infrastructure development.

Matt Morrow, President of Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, believes this bill will help the state of Missouri and the city of Springfield.

The package includes a few different things. First, $50 million in tax credits over 10 years for General Motors (GM) to expand and invest in a Wentzville plant.

"Once the investment takes place, in that plant in Wentzville, you have to understand there are 178 other companies throughout the state of Missouri that also benefit from a GM expansion," Morrow said. "Many of them are in our area."

The bill also gives $10 million for Governor Parson's Fast Track Job training scholarship program. However, it will sunset after three years. The bill would also establish a "deal closing fund" the Parson administration could use for job growth, without legislative approval.

Morrow's hope is that it will create more high paying jobs in technology, advanced manufacturing and health care.

"If you have the right skills, you have people with an opportunity to be upwardly mobile," Morrow said. "To make more money and to meet those needs of employers who want to expand and relocate somewhere. We would like them to do it here."

Senator Lincoln Hough sponsored the bill. He shared this statement:

“SB 68 is a comprehensive package of economic development tools meant to move Missouri to the top of the pack and send a clear signal to the rest of the country that we want to aggressively cultivate and grow our workforce and the state’s economy. This bill will help propel Missourians into better economic opportunities that will allow them to make a better living and support their families,” stated Lincoln Hough, Senator from Springfield. “Missourians have amazing potential and this bill will help open the door to those opportunities. I am excited that the Missouri House worked with Governor Parson and businesses from across the state to formulate a plan for growth and economic vitality for the next generation of Missouri workers. SB 68 is about showing businesses across the country that Missouri is not only open for business but that we look forward to working with companies that make investments in our communities, our working families and the future of innovation.”