Missouri Minute: Boeing contract would boost St. Louis jobs; Blue KC requests flexibility for 2018 exchange

Here are today’s top business headlines from across Missouri:

If it wins trainer contract, Boeing will assemble T-X in St. Louis

Boeing will assemble the new T-X Air Force training jet at its north St. Louis County campus — supporting 1,800 jobs locally — if it beats out rivals for the lucrative defense contract, company officials said Monday. Industry analysts had mostly expected St. Louis to get T-X work if Boeing wins the contract, but Monday’s announcement — complete with members of the area’s congressional delegation, local politicians and regional business leaders — made it official. Read more

Blue KC requests ‘flexibility’ from regulators amid Affordable Care Act uncertainty

A spokeswoman for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City said Monday the company has “requested flexibility” from the Kansas Insurance Department on a deadline to file plans to sell on the Affordable Care Act exchange next year. The company’s decision not to file by Monday’s midnight deadline casts uncertainty on 2018 “Obamacare” coverage options for people in two eastern Kansas counties and 30 western Missouri counties. Read more

Missouri messes with municipal minimum wage plans

In the waning minutes of its 2017 session, the Missouri General Assembly approved legislation aimed at prohibiting local governments from raising their cities’ minimum wages above the state level, which now stands at $7.70 an hour. The bill also seeks to void any existing city ordinances that raise the minimum wage. That throws into doubt the future of a Kansas City minimum wage ordinance — scheduled to go before voters in August — as well as an already-passed St. Louis ordinance, which began a phase-in to $11 an hour on May 5. Read more

State lawmaker seeks special session on Bootheel aluminum plant issue

A state lawmaker from southeast Missouri is asking Gov. Eric Greitens to call a special legislative session aimed at creating about 500 to 600 new jobs in the Bootheel. The Missouri House voted 148-2 last week in favor of an amendment proposed by State Rep. Don Rone, R-Portageville, to give the Public Service Commission the right to negotiate affordable power rates for an aluminum plant he hopes can reopen. The bill died in the Senate. Read more

A-B InBev to invest $20 million in St. Louis-area operations

Anheuser-Busch InBev will invest $500 million in its U.S. operations this year, including more than $20 million in the St. Louis area, the world’s biggest brewer said Monday. The capital spending program represents “a huge vote of confidence” in the brewer’s U.S. operations, said João Castro Neves, president of North American operations for A-B InBev. Read more

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