Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's office Friday announced he has signed Senate Bill 7, the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act, which would help fund state efforts to lure new high tech companies and jobs to the state. The bill, one of the few to emerge during a contentious special legislative session in Jefferson City, has been long-sought after by local representatives of the and BRDG Park in Creve Coeur, who are trying to fill out their campus vision as a high-tech hotspot and felt like they needed more ammunition.
The program would be financed by annual transfers from state revenues equal to a percentage of the growth in the wages paid to employees of existing science-based companies, using 2010 as a base year for the calculations.
The St. Louis Business Journal reports the amount could be as large as $600 million and would be used to fund incentives for startups and other companies looking to locate in Missouri.
Governor Nixon made two stops in Creve Coeur to back the legislation, first in , and then again a short time later as the state announced it had successfully helped . That deal, which was not connected to MOSIRA's passage, is expected to create more than 80 jobs over time in exchange for state support.
The bill itself was tied to the passage of wider economic development legislation which has failed to pass during the special session. "Contingency clauses contained in legislation have been voided in the past, and ultimately a court may have to determine the effect, if any, of the contingency clause contained in Senate Bill 7," Nixon's office said in a statement, indicating that plans for implementing the legislation were moving forward.
Friday afternoon, BRDG Park head Sam Fiorello told Patch he was thrilled about the news and optimistic about the legal issues surrounding the legislation. He has said in the past that MOSIRA's passage would allow him to reopen conversations with potential tenants about relocating, but Friday said from an operational standpoint, it would be another six months to a year before he had the new "tool in the toolbox."