MOScout Daily Update: House Looks at Local Taxes - Juden Attacks Audit Draft - LG Office Audit - Skelton in Senate 19? and more...

Interim Committee on Local Taxes

Speaker Elijah Haahr formed the Interim Committee on Oversight of Local Taxation to see how “local governments are determining taxes and are impacted by current tax policy.”  Rep. J. Eggleston is chairing the committee.  See the committee members here.

What It Means

The Republican-dominated General Assembly, after a decade of cutting state taxes, is increasingly turning its gaze to the local governments.  In the tug-of-war between conservative banners of “low taxes” and “local control,” taxes seems to be winning.

MOScout Daily Update: No Dems in Senate 19? - G-Men Talk to OA - DOR's RFP and more...

The Easy Part

Governor Mike Parson signed Executive Order 19-13 “creating the Missouri Health Insurance Innovation Task Force. The Governor’s action aims to curb rising healthcare premiums and increase access and competition in health insurance markets for all Missourians…The Task Force is challenged to develop concepts that will improve access to affordable insurance options and healthcare services within the state while reducing the state’s uninsured rates, with an emphasis on increasing access to healthcare in rural areas of the state.”

MOScout Daily Update: Top Political War-Chests - Parson Hits $4M, Schmitt at $1M - Lavender Takes Money Lead in Senate 15 and more...

Yesterday was the filing deadline for the July fundraising quarter.

Top Cash on Hand

Uniting Missouri PAC - $2,885,364

Parson For Missouri - $1,149,893

Carpenters Help in the Political Process (CHIPP) – $1,079,745

Enterprise Holdings, Inc. PAC - $1,023,515

Eastern Missouri Laborers Educational & Benevolent Fund - $1,012,742

MOScout Weekender: Parson Vetoes - Poll on Dem Prez Preference - Hallway on Dem Prez - WWTW and more...

MOScout Poll: Parson – Dem Prez Preference

Survey conducted July 10 through July 11. 1,122 likely 2020 Democratic Primary Election voters participated in the survey. Margin of Error is +/-3%.

Q1: Possible candidates in the 2020 Democratic Primary for President are Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Marianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang. If the election were held today, for whom would you vote?

Joe Biden: 43%

Kamala Harris: 13%

Elizabeth Warren: 15%

MOScout Daily Update: Referendum Strategy - Greitens' Narrative - Silverman Joins Tilley's Firm - Criminal Justice Reform and more...

HB 126 Referendum

There is an alternative strategy which opponents could embrace: drop the HB 126 referendum, and pursue a constitutional amendment for 2020.  The benefits of this would be…

·         The campaign would no longer be under ticking clock to gather signatures by the end of summer.

·         The ballot language could be crafted to maximize the odds of success.

·         The constitutional protection would prevent future legislative attacks.

MOScout Daily Update: ACLU Wins Round in Court - Ingle Kicks Off - Beetem Hearts Confide and more....

HB 126 Referendum Ruling

While this was a victory of the ACLU, the ruling did little to clear the obstacles that remain in their effort to hold a referendum on HB 126.

·         Opponents of the abortion bill worry that the AG’s office and SOS’s office will slow-mo their duties – perhaps even appealing the court’s decision to the Supreme Court.  Every delay will devour increasingly critical time to collect the necessary signatures.

·         Once the signatures are collected, one must assume that Ashcroft will again reject the petition on the same grounds he just did.

MOScout Daily Update: Haahr Schatz File HB126 Amicus Brief - Rehder Jabs Swan - Wallingford for House - MMJ Apps - Nixon Contra MU and more...

Driving the Day

10AM this morning, oral arguments will be heard in the Western District Court of Appeals for ACLU v. Ashcroft.  This is the latest round in the saga around HB 126.

Speaker Elijah Haahr, Senate Pro Tem Dave Schatz and bill sponsor Nick Schroer have joined the case in support of Ashcroft.  They filed an amicus brief in their official capacities of members and officers of the MO General Assembly.  They’re defending Ashcroft’s actions, saying their unique insight will help the Court understand the validity of their use of the emergency clause.

MOScout Daily Update: Dunn for Senate 9? - Sifton Endorses Galloway - PP's AHC Hearing Postponed - O'Laughlin on Tax Credits and more....

Sifton Endorses Galloway

Dems took an important step toward 2020 unity yesterday as Sen. Scott Sifton, who previously expressed interest in a gubernatorial run, endorsed Auditor Nicole Galloway for that race.

Speculation will not rumble around Sifton and what seat he will pursue instead. 

The best guess is that Sifton ends up in the lieutenant governor or treasurer spot.  Those two incumbents – Mike Kehoe and Scott Fitzpatrick – were appointed and haven’t run statewide.  Therefore they presumably have the lowest name ID and will be the easiest targets.

We’ll see….

MOScout Daily Update: Abortion Summer - Kelley Profiled - Rowland's Check - Gross' LGTBQ Plan and more....

Abortion Quagmire

Governor Mike Parson’s quick and quiet bill-signing of HB 126 appeared to be designed to give his base a win, while limiting the amount of political oxygen it took from his administration’s focus on workforce development and infrastructure.  Instead the issue has become a lightning rod, sucking up all the attention of the past five weeks.  And it will likely stay in the center ring for the rest of the summer.

MOScout Weekender: Parson Leads Galloway - Hallway on Greatest Threats to Parson Re-elect - MMJ Coming to Bars? - WWTW and more...

MMJ Shop in Bar?

Medical marijuana in entertainment venues.As in, have a drink, buy some pot, go see the concert… Springfield News Leader reports that “a medical marijuana dispensary could be coming soon to the heart of downtown Springfield.The Outland's owners announced this week that they want to turn a section of the South Avenue bar and music venue into a dispensary in the coming months…

MOScout Daily Update: Galloway on the Attack - Roe on 2020 Prez Election - MMJ App Day for Patients - FB Comments Drive Mayor From Office - Cole in Senate 29 and more...

Galloway on the Offense

Post-Dispatch reports that “Auditor Nicole Galloway on Thursday issued an open letter to Gov. Mike Parson pressuring the governor to address the influence of so-called “dark money” in state government…

  • There appear to be two lines of attack that Galloway is pursuing.  First, Parson is a political insider, swampy and tight with lobbyists as opposed to her shine-the-light-on-them Auditor image.  Second, Republicans are too extreme on social issues, mainly abortion.

  • This hits the first point.

MOScout Daily Update: MDP Says Galloway's In for Gov - Moon in Senate 29 - Pitman Kick-off and more...

Gepford: Galloway In for Gov

Post-Dispatch reports: Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway is planning to run for governor next year, the executive director of the Missouri Democratic Party told the Post-Dispatch.  "She's very serious about the race and is taking steps to assemble a team and the resources it would take to win," said Lauren Gepford, executive director of the state Democrats, adding that she did not know when Galloway would make a formal announcement.

What It Means

·         This is a clever way for Galloway to signal to donors and others that she’s in, while keeping her powder dry for a big -plash official announcement.

·         It’s an important first step for the Democrats to assemble a slate of statewide candidates.

MOScout Daily Update: Eigel Hearts MATA? - Roeber Running Again - Curtman to WI - Dandamundi Gets Abortion Case - MMJ Map Online and more....

Curtman to WI

Former Rep. Paul Curtman announced via Facebook (see it here) that he’s leaving the state of Missouri and going to work for Edward Jones in Wisconsin.  Since being termed out, and losing a statewide bid, Curtman has staffed Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin.

Curtman says that he’s prayed on the matter and with a third child on the way, he realized that instead of running for another office, he needs to be “on the ticket for his family.”

O’Laughlin is in the process of interviewing replacements. And said to be looking at folks “in and outside of the building.”

MOScout Daily Update: Final Fundraising Week - Abortion Eclipses Parson Agenda - Farm Woes Loom - Engelby Tees and more...

Final Fundraising Week of July Quarter

We’re in the final week for this fundraising quarter.  It’s an off-cycle year.  Still this quarter will still draw some attention.

·         The primary election is now in sight – a little over a year away.

·         Campaign contribution limits mean it takes more time to gather enough checks to run a full campaign.  The days for whale-hunting for the single donor are over – especially for legislative primary fights that can’t count on massive third-party help.

MOScout Daily Update: MMJ FOIA Fight - STL County Assessments Fight - Osmack Drops Senate Bid and more...

MMJ Info Subject to FOIA?

Post-Dispatch wins a round in its attempt to wrest medical marijuana applications from state government’s cone of silence.  See it here.

Why It’s Important

One reason this information is important for public policy discussions is that there’s concern that “people of color — who have been disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs — do not have equitable access to the burgeoning cannabis industry.”  And this appears to be a well-founded concern based on other states’ experience – like Michigan.