The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry testified in favor of a bill aimed at helping small companies innovate and end the country’s dependence on foreign microchip and energy production.
HB 1298 is known as the Missouri Defense and Energy Independence Act. It is sponsored by Rep. Aaron McMullen (R-Independence).
This bill would establish the “Grants for Independence from Foreign Influence Fund.” The Department of Economic Development would award grants to qualifying companies looking to defray the cost of converting their operations to produce materials that will be used to decrease or eliminate reliance on foreign-produced materials used in energy production or Department of Defense needs. Qualified companies could receive up to $500,000.
“If we rely on non-friendly foreign nations for our raw materials, we are still not truly energy or defense independent,” McMullen said. “We have all the elements, gases and chemicals to create microchips in Missouri.”
Phillip Arnzen, director of legislative affairs for the Missouri Chamber, told the House Economic Development Committee that there are lots of possibilities for the state with this legislation.
“We found out during COVID that one of the big weaknesses we have is the supply chain for chips and semi-conductors,” Arnzen said. “Missouri already has a little part in that process, but we definitely think we can expand. This legislation will help us to get federal grants to allow Missouri to expand in the chip manufacturing process. We also have a lot of biproduct from mining, and the material in there is valuable and could be used for this production.”
For more information, contact Arnzen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (573) 634-3511.