JEFFERSON CITY   •   More tax credits will be available to individuals and businesses who donate to food pantries, pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes if Gov. Jay Nixon signs the bill.

The Missouri House voted to increase by $500,000 the amount available for each of those types of contributions. This increases to $2.5 million the cap for pregnancy resource center and maternity home contribution credits. The food pantry credit cap would be increased to $1.75 million.

The tax credit for pregnancy resource centers has drawn criticism from abortion rights supporters, who contend that they provide inaccurate medical information to pregnant women. Rep. Genise Montecillo, D-St. Louis, said she wanted to be sure all of the centers were providing accurate information and that there were no bad actors before she could support increasing the cap.

Bill sponsor Rep. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, has said before that the pregnancy resource centers in the state provide assistance to women in a crisis situation and also direct them to other services. Engler said these tax credits provide the state a good return on investment by ensuring babies were born health and women get help finding a job.

“These are important tax credits that are helping people around our state,” Engler said.

The amount of tax credits issued for contributions to maternity homes in fiscal year 2013 fell just $42 short of the $2 million cap. For pregnancy resource centers, $1.6 million was utilized. Recent information about the food pantry donation credit was not available because the program lapsed in 2011 and was then reauthorized for fiscal year 2013 by the Legislature.

The House passed the bill 121-25 and the Senate earlier passed it by 30-1.

(The bill is HB 1132.)

Marie French is a reporter in the Jefferson City bureau. You can follow her on Twitter @mre545.