- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 6, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A task force appointed by Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Wednesday unveiled recommendations for a professionally managed investment fund and a simplified tax code among dozens of other policies aimed at helping job growth in the state.

Greitens in particular praised the suggestion to revamp the Missouri Technology Corporation, a public-private partnership that invests in high-tech companies. The task force recommended creating a professionally managed investment fund with money primarily from the private sector. The panel said in a report that the fund could bring in more money to invest back into startups.

“Missouri is ready to lead, but we’re going to have to embrace more bold ideas to build a thriving, prosperous economy,” Greitens said in a statement. “The task force’s option of a new Missouri innovation fund is the sort of bold thinking we need.”

Greitens created the task force in June to find ways to promote new businesses, especially technology startups. Task force members included Greitens‘ Department of Economic Development director, the state’s chief operating officer and leaders at universities and private businesses. Lawmakers also were on the panel.

The task force also suggested changing the state’s non-compete policies to allow workers to leave companies and start businesses that could compete with their former employers. Another recommendation is to lure millennials, roughly 25- to 35-year-olds, to Missouri and to draw former residents back to the state.

Other recommendations include simplifying the state’s tax code, creating an office dedicated to expanding rural access to broadband, reducing regulations on businesses and promoting collaboration between universities and industry researchers.

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