Missouri Minute: Parson notches legislative wins; Wash U to host climate summit

Good morning, MBA readers,

After last night’s finale to HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” it’s time to come back home from Westeros. We have a roundup from the last day of Missouri’s legislative session, perspectives on a polarizing hospital boom in Kansas City and much more on Missouri’s business news of the day.

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Parson scores wins in his first legislative session
By the end of the Missouri Legislature’s session, lawmakers approved Gov. Mike Parson’s jobs training program, $50 million in tax breaks for General Motors and a plan to borrow $301 million for bridge repairs. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Missouri offers truce to Kansas in economic development battle
A bill passed Friday would prevent Missouri tax incentives from being used to lure businesses from the Kansas side of the Kansas City area. The bill would only take effect if Kansas adopts a similar policy. (Associated Press)

Lawmakers fail to ban Grain Belt use of eminent domain
An effort to prevent eminent domain from being used to build a wind power transmission line in the state died after much pushback in both chambers. (Columbia Missourian)

House approves Missouri school delay to boost tourism
Supporters say the bill would boost summer tourism businesses by pushing back the start date of Missouri public schools by another four days. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Animal health firm to invest $22.4 million in St. Joseph facility
The funds will allow Connecticut-based Boehringer Ingelheim to expand its livestock vaccine production in St. Joseph. (Kansas City Business Journal)

Prolog Ventures invests $6 million in skin care startup
The Clayton-based investment firm led a $13 million funding round for bioClarity, a San Diego startup that sells plant-based beauty products directly to consumers. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Impending move by ag agencies draws mixed response
Two federal agriculture agencies are considering Kansas City as a potential site for their new headquarters. It would be an economic development win for Kansas City, but some fear it would take a toll on the agencies’ effectiveness. (KCUR)

Kansas sends business recruiter to Missouri
Chang Lu, international trade representative for the Kansas Department of Commerce, will move to Springfield to manage the recruiting of businesses from southern and central states. (Associated Press)

Say that again

“I think they’re doing what the business structure drives them to do. In general I wish the structure was different. The structure incentivizes the behavior, and the behavior is to compete like hell for commercial patients.”

AdventHealth’s new 85-bed hospital in Overland Park, Kansas, is the latest sign of a hospital boom that favors wealthier parts of Kansas City while ignoring underserved areas, The Kansas City Star reports. Patrick Sallee, CEO of three Vibrant Health safety net clinics in Wyandotte County, said hospitals are flocking to Johnson County in a bid for more patients who have private insurance. Experts say while lower-income residents in the area have less access to health care facilities, the wealthier patients in Johnson County may actually have more because of the boom.

Go figure

That is the number of commercial medical marijuana licenses the state will issue this year, St. Louis Public Radio reports. Missouri will allow 60 businesses to cultivate marijuana, 86 to manufacture marijuana-infused products and 192 to dispense products. While the number of licenses issued meets the minimum number set by the law, it does not satisfy all 510 applicants who have already paid thousands of dollars in application fees. Still, state economists believe the minimum number will exceed demand in Missouri for some time.

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While in St. Louis to deliver the commencement speech at Washington University, Michael Bloomberg, the entrepreneur and former New York mayor, also announced the Midwestern Collegiate Climate Summit, set to take place next year. Wash U will host the summit and partner with the city of St. Louis in a larger related effort that will bring together representatives from academia, government and the private sector to “drive measurable, local action on climate,” according to an announcement from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Hello, my name is

iWerx Gladstone
The two-story, 32,000-square-foot coworking space in Gladstone opened its doors last Thursday, Startland News reports. iWerx, the first dedicated coworking space and business incubator in Gladstone, features retail space and access to entrepreneurial training and community programming.


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