Thursday, February 05, 2009

Flanigan: Stimulus payment should be used for roads, bridges, infrastructure

In his weekly report, Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, offers some thoughts on the Quality Jobs Act and how the federal government's stimulus payment to Missouri should be used:

This week marked an important first step in our efforts to move our state economy forward.

The House passed House Bill 191, an expansion of the 2005 Quality Jobs Act. This program provides incentives to both retain existing jobs across the state and to create ones that couple above average wages with health insurance. Since 2005, the Missouri Department of Economic Development reports the Quality Jobs Act as directly responsible for the creation of over 22,000 jobs in 65 Missouri cities and towns. I support the expansion of the Quality Jobs Act. It is a proven measure that I believe will be a key component in getting our state economy back on track. The bill will be delivered to the Senate on Monday. In the weeks ahead, we will work with the Senate to ensure this legislation is sent to Governor Nixon and signed into law.

Additionally, you may be aware of the efforts in Congress to pass an economic recovery bill. It is a one-time payment to the state to “stimulate” our economy. I serve on the Special Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Transportation Funding, which will administer the proposed $809 million in state stimulus funds. Our committee consensus appears to be, that one-time funding should be used for one- time expenses such as roads, bridge repair or large infrastructure projects, which create much needed construction jobs.

As we await the stimulus funds, our committee is also considering several responsible avenues to move our economy forward. Many committee members have expressed strong positions on the need for a tax rebate. I see this as a logical step to quickly putting money directly back into the pockets of taxpayers. I believe the freedom to spend your money in the way that benefits you the most is one of the best ways to stimulate the economy.

In summary, I see this week’s expansion of the Quality Jobs Program and the responsible planning for federal stimulus monies the right direction for our state’s future.

I am grateful for your support. It is a privileged to represent you in Jefferson City.

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