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Boeing layoff sparks last-minute legislation

May 14, 1999
By: Lee McGuire
State Capital Bureau

State lawmakers approved an emergency measure today/Friday to help some Boeing workers who are about to lose their jobs. Lee McGuire reports from Jefferson City.

The Governor is on board for the emergency funds, which means the state will provide 20 million dollars to help laid-off Boeing employees start their own businesses.

That money isn't just for former Boeing workers, but the company's announcement that it would lay off thousands in St. Louis got lawmakers working on the funding plan at the last minute.

St. Louis County representative Catherine Hanaway:

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The state is also asking the federal government for six million dollars, to set up a career center at the Boeing plant, to help displaced workers find new jobs. In Jefferson City, Lee McGuire, KMOX News.


Those layoffs at the St. Louis Boeing plant could be changing how state lawmakers see future tax cuts. Lee McGuire has more from the state capitol.

The state legislature approved a quarter of a billion dollars in tax cuts as Boeing announced it would lay off seven thousand people in St. Louis.

That sudden loss of so many lucrative jobs could signal the beginning of tougher times in the state economy.

But House ways and means chair Joan Bray says the tax cut plan should still work, even if the economy begins to turn down:

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Some Republicans had been calling for a tax cut plan far larger than what the legislature ended up approving, arguing that the state could still afford to give more money back to the public. In Jefferson City, Lee McGuire, KMOX News.


The state legislature has approved 20 million dollars in emergency aid to help laid-off Boeing employees start new businesses. Lee McGuire reports from Jefferson City.

That money isn't just for former Boeing workers. But it would never have made it through the legislature had it not been for Boeing's announcement it would lay off thousands of workers in St. Louis.

But just who will get that money? The governor says only about five percent of the people being laid off--that's fewer than 500 people.

And St. Louis County representative Catherine Hanaway says it's still a program that benefits everyone:

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That twenty million dollars will be spread out over four years. In Jefferson City, Lee McGuire, KMOX News.