Martinez confirmed as Missouri economic development director

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 | 11:51 a.m. CST; updated 1:13 p.m. CST, Tuesday, February 10, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Jay Nixon's economic development director wins Senate confirmation over the objection of a senator concerned about her stance on illegal immigration.

Senate confirmation of Linda Martinez came after Republican Sen. Scott Rupp, of Wentzville, relented and allowed her nomination to come to a voice vote.

Rupp had asserted that Martinez "appears to be pro-illegal immigration."

As an attorney in St. Louis, Martinez volunteered with a group of lawyers that sued the suburb of Valley Park in 2007 for ordinances that fined businesses and landlords for hiring and renting to illegal immigrants.

Rupp sponsored a law last year that increased penalties for businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

Martinez has testified that she will abide by that law as the department decides whether to grant tax breaks to businesses.


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