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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators are debating legislation that could award up to $1.7 billion of incentives over two decades to Boeing to build a commercial airplane in St. Louis.

The Senate opened debate Wednesday on the incentives as they met in a special session called by Gov. Jay Nixon.

Missouri is one of more than a dozen locations invited by Boeing to submit proposals to build the 777X airplane.

Boeing already employs about 15,000 people in Missouri and builds military aircraft in St. Louis.

If Boeing chooses Missouri for the commercial plane, it could mean an additional 8,000 jobs. If it decides to assemble only the airplane wing in Missouri, supporters said that could result in 2,000 to 3,000 jobs.

Opponents are raising concerns about tailoring tax breaks for a specific company.

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