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More Court Action Coming On MOSIRA

Creve Coeur area lawmakers and business leaders react to this week's decision to declare the high tech business funding mechanism unconstitutional.

State Attorney General Chris Koster announced Wednesday his office will appeal a Cole County Judge's ruling that the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act is unconstitutional.

Pro-life groups challenged the bill in court after it was signed into law, despite the fact that its passage in last year's special legislative session was tied to another bill which was not passed.

The legislation could be a boon to high tech business centers, including the BRDG Park located on the campus of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Coeur. MOSIRA would build a fund the state could use to help attract startup and existing high-tech businesses.

In a statement, Koster said:

"The Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act is an important economic development tool that can bring high-tech jobs to Missouri and preserve jobs that are already here,” Koster said. “I don’t want to see important job-creating legislation fail. We intend to appeal this matter to its conclusion.”

Before the decision to appeal was announced, the Danforth Center's Chief Operating Officer, Sam Fiorello, said in an email that the court's decision was disappointing. "The clause linking it to Aerotropolis should be removed and the legislation establishing MOSIRA should be allowed to move forward and be funded through the appropriations process as intended by the legislature in special session."

State Represenative Jill Schupp (D-Creve Coeur) also supports the passage of a stand-alone bill, but State Senate Pro Tem Rob Mayer told The Kansas City Star earlier this week that it would likely also require overall reform of the state's tax credit system.

Meanwhile, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Governor Jay Nixon will attend a fundraiser at the Danforth Center hosted by biotech supporters next month.

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