JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KSDK) –Members of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus have taken umbrage to Gov. Jay Nixon's efforts to entice Boeing to bring production of its 777x jetliner to the Show-Me State.
A letter sent to Nixon Tuesday by Sen. Jamilah Nasheed expresses frustration that part of the $1.7 billion deal signed earlier in the day by Nixon withheld money from senior and low-income housing as part of a deal brokered with a group of Republican senators who threatened the passage of the Boeing Bill.
"We write to express our anger and disappointment with the deal your administration appears to have cut with a group of Republican senators," Sen. Jamilah Nasheed wrote in a letter to Nixon Tuesday. The letter, according to a news release, was written on behalf of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus. "As your administration and others made abundantly clear, the Boeing incentives will come from new tax revenues generated by Boeing itself. There is no need at all to offset those incentives with cuts to other programs."
NewsChannel 5 has reached out to Nixon's office for a response.
You can read the full letter below:
December 10, 13
Governor Jeremiah Nixon
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Honorable Governor Nixon:
We write to express our anger and disappointment with the deal your administration appears to have cut with a group of Republican senators to help the Boeing tax incentive bill pass last week. While some of us supported state assistance for Boeing Corporation to bring thousands of good paying jobs to our state, the deal you made with a small number of Republican senators to hold up needed low income tax credits was unnecessary, and claims that cuts to other tax credits are needed to pay for the Boeing package are absolutely false.
We can assure you that all of us, and many other Missourians, will strongly oppose any effort to use the Boeing deal as an excuse to deprive needy senior citizens and low income Missourians of decent housing. As a first step and show of good faith to us, we ask that you redirect the Missouri Housing Development Commission to immediately adhere to standard practices regarding funding allocation, and immediately release the awards approved last week.
Tens of thousands of our fellow citizens live in adequate housing thanks to the Low-Income Tax Credit. It is responsible for the creation and sustenance of non-profit community organizations - including numerous community development organizations in St. Louis and Kansas City – and their development partners often struggle to survive as they await the outcomes of their funding applications. For MHDC to delay awards an extra four to six months following notification of grantees – all to appease a small handful of legislators who have consistently opposed state support for affordable housing – is misguided. It is even more misguided and ironic when placed in a broader context: your administration called a special session to provide Boeing funds to help create thousands of good manufacturing jobs for Missouri families, and then turned around and delayed funds that would be used to house Missouri's most vulnerable citizens.
Using Boeing as an excuse to cut low income tax credits is disingenuous at best. As your administration and others made abundantly clear, the Boeing incentives will come from new tax revenues generated by Boeing itself. There is no need at all to offset those incentives with cuts to other programs. This minority of Republican senators is simply using Boeing as leverage to carry out their war against the poor, disabled and elderly - a war your administration risks being on the wrong side of with this decision.
Like other struggling Missourians left behind by the economic recovery, many of the people we represent are hurting. State supported affordable housing provides on-site services for seniors and the disabled who would otherwise be forced to remain in dilapidated homes. It also helps provide stability for otherwise homeless children and veterans. Boeing will create jobs that will put Missourians to work. But, what about people who won't benefit from those jobs?
We understand that your administration acted to mollify a small group of stubborn Republican senators who had threatened to hold up the Boeing incentive bill if they did not get their way. If that is what it takes to get this administration's attention, then we respectfully request an emergency meeting with your administration to deal with this matter before our caucus is forced to follow the precedent set by your dealings with our Republican colleagues.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Missouri Legislative Black Caucus
cc: Members of the MHDC