Missouri House bill offers tuition credit to businesses creating jobs

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 | 1:53 p.m. CDT; updated 11:06 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, April 12, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri businesses could gain tuition credits for creating new jobs in a proposed bill now under consideration in the state House of Representatives.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Delus Johnson, R-St. Joseph, introduced House Bill 971 to the Higher Education Dommittee on Tuesday. The program, Missouri Jobs for Education, would award businesses and companies one year of free tuition for every five jobs they create in this state.

Tuition credits can be used to attend state universities by the employees of each business or company and relatives of the business owner. The credit expires if not used within 10 years of it being awarded.

Johnson said that the bill would make Missouri more attractive for out-of-state businesses looking to move. He called it a “reward for business and economic development."

In order to qualify for a tuition credit, new jobs must pay wages that meet or exceed  average county wages and must last at least one year before any business can receive the credit.

Johnson plans to make a few changes to the bill based on discussions with education officials. One would offer the program to more schools in addition to those in the UM system, including technical schools and community colleges.

It would also create a fund to reimburse schools that offer tuition credits.

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