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Missouri House votes to pare down school voucher bill

It's similar to a bill already sent to Parson. If passed by the Republican-led Senate, the tactic will give the governor the option to veto the original voucher bill

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri House in an unusual move Tuesday passed a pared-down school voucher bill after a similar measure when to the governor's desk last week. 

The main provisions of both bills would create a tax credit program to pay for kids to go to K-12 private schools. 

Under the program, private donors would give money to nonprofits that in turn would dole out scholarships. Donors would get state tax credits equal to the amount they donate, but not more than half their tax liability. 

The original bill would have capped tax credits at $50 million for the first year of the program. The cap would increase to keep up with inflation, topping out at $75 million.

The new version caps tax credits at $25 million for the first year and $50 million with inflation. 

The House voted 79-72 to tack on the amended voucher-like legislation to another bill Tuesday. If passed by the Republican-led Senate, the tactic will give Republican Gov. Mike Parson the option to veto the original voucher bill and sign the pared-down version into law.

It's unusual for lawmakers to so quickly revisit legislation that they've already passed. Republican Rep. Phil Christofanelli, who spearheaded the legislation, said he proposed the change following complaints from some senators about the bill passed last week. 

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