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Governors Come Together to End Economic Border War

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For the first time since signing separate agreements to end the decade-long economic border war, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Missouri Governor Mike Parson came together Tuesday at the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Governor Summit which was held at Memorial Hall in downtown Kansas City, Kansas. Both governors signed a joint commitment to regional collaboration.

“The Kansas City region is magnificent. On that we all can agree. There’s much to like on both sides of the border, and in the region as a whole. And even though our states have been engaged in an economic tug-of-war on this very turf, we share the same goals, said Governor Kelly. “We all want companies to set up shop and flourish in our states. We know that to attract and retain good businesses and their economic benefits, it’s often necessary to offer incentives, but because there will be a return on investment, and not just for bragging rights and an illusion of success at a high cost to both states – and certainly not by luring companies a few miles across the border.”

Governor Parson signed legislation for an economic truce in early June, and just last week Governor Kelly signed an executive order with the same goal. At the Summit, both leaders encouraged states and our local governments to work together to attract new business to the entire region.

The signing took place in the second-floor ballroom. Unified Government Mayor/CEO David Alvey and Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas joined both governors and Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Joe Reardon for a news conference which was held immediately following the signing.

“To be clear: our states will continue to compete for those businesses wishing to start up or relocate, but we will now use strategies that are sensible, cost effective, and productive for people in both states. That’s how healthy rivalries should work,” Governor Kelly said.

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