MOScout Daily Update: GovWatch Vote Analysis - Phelps Passes - EV Charging Workshop and more...

Budget Buster

Columbia Tribune reportsThe Missouri Department of Corrections wants the Western District Court of Appeals to block enforcement of a judgment that corrections officers are owed $118.5 million in back pay. 

What It Means

One budget watcher trembles… “This is a big deal.  Not for this year’s budget, but next… They might get back to zero growth this year. Might…”

As of close of business Monday, fiscal year to date net state revenues were down 4.96%.

MOScout Daily Update: Title IX Fight - Parson's State Gov Re-Org - MO Supremes Forbid Debtors Prison Time and more...

Title IX Fight

The coalition attempting revise the sexual assault investigation process on college campuses has been on a well-reported hiring spree.  They’re now up to 29 lobbyists. (See them here.)  And that list doesn’t include the whole team. For example, Gregg Keller, who’s doing communications, isn’t listed because he’s not lobbying.

But… the other side hasn’t been sitting on their hands…

Independent Colleges & Universities of Missouri has been around for many years, and is represented by Gamble & Schlemeier.In the last week they’ve added four new lobbyists.

MOScout Daily Update: Muni Ballot Bond Issues and Tax Hikes - Justice for Senate 25 - Christian County "Disinvites" Blunt and more...

Budget Fears: Next Recession

Worried about the budget with state revenues still lethargic amid 3% unemployment?  Imagine what revenues will be like if we get a recession…. Yikers!  Everything feels hunky-dory to me, but Axios Markets has been ringing the warning bells.

·         From March 13: Economic models show the "largest one-month jump in recession risk in 30 years" for the U.S., and a 73% probability of a contraction in 2019, economists at UBS say. That's based on recent data, most notably the U.S. fourth quarter GDP report.

MOScout Daily Update: GOP House's Retired Teachers Caucus - MMJ Draft Rules - McDaniel's Militia - Hyperloop Hiring - The New Supply Side and more...

McDaniel Militia

Buzzing around St. Louis social media… fear of Rep. Andrew McDaniel and his bills requiring gun ownership.

HB 1052 - Establishes the McDaniel Second Amendment Act, which requires every person 21 years of age or older who can legally possess a firearm to own a handgun and authorizes a tax credit for a purchase of a handgun.

HB 1108 - Establishes the McDaniel Militia Act, which requires every person between 18 and 35 years of age who can legally possess a firearm to own an AR-15 and authorizes a tax credit for a purchase of an AR-15.

MOScout Daily Update: Walters Resigning - Eigel-Libla Divide - Joe Aull Petition - Spring Break Starts NOW...

Petition to Reinstate Aull

One MOScouter pointed me to this… Controversy in Lexington, where former State Rep. Joe Aull was abruptly fired as City Administrator. Aull’s son-in-law started a Change.org petition, which says, in part: “He has been the high school principal. He has been the Lexington school superintendent. He has been a Missouri State Representative for Lexington's district. He has been the Vice President of Academics / high school principal of Wentworth. And he has been the City Administrator of Lexington. Yet he was fired and told to clear out with ZERO explanation?”

See the petition here.

MOScout Daily Update: James for Justus? - School Choice Stalls - Gardner Email Server Seized and more...

Tough Day for School Choice

The House once again failed to bring up the charter expansion bill.  Talk was that proponents’ vote count was stuck around 80 votes.  Being just shy of votes, they postponed rather than risk defeat.

·         The two vacancies of House 99 (Jean Evans) and House 158 (Scott Fitzpatrick) are proving critical, keeping the bar of 82 votes just out of reach right now.

·         Rural Republicans remain the key barrier.  Supporters of the bill are frustrated that they are “beholden” to their local superintendents.

·         This is one of Speaker Elijah Haahr’s top priorities.  So this isn’t the end of it.

MOScout Daily Update: Structural Deficit? - Charter Day? - MO Works Filibustered Again - Justice All In - Klindt Promoted - Munzy to Parole Board and more...

Soybeaners Don’t Love Trump Budget

MO Soybean Association is speaking out against the proposed budget from President Donald TrumpSee it here.

From crop insurance to conservation programs and transportation, President Trump’s proposed budget would significantly slash programs vital to the soybean industry.Cuts to crop insurance and farm subsidies would be deep, totaling $28 billion over 10 years. This would directly impact soy growers in several ways: The majority of those savings would come from reducing the portion of farmers’ crop insurance premiums covered by taxpayers from 62 percent down to 48 percent.

MOScout Daily Update: Hyperloop Haahr - Vescovo Formally Announces for Speaker - Ave Starts PR Firm - Sunshine Week and more...

Ave Starts PR Firm

Christopher Ave, Post-Dispatch’s political editor for the last decade, announced on Twitter“I'm thrilled to announce my new communications consulting business. More than three decades as a journalist have prepared me to help you tell the world your story. I'm focusing on content creation, strategic + crisis communications, media relations and social media management.”

MOScout Weekender: Trump Very Strong With MO GOP Voters - Judge, Fitz Tussle over DOC Judgement - Hallway Index - WWTW and more...

DOC Judgement Could Crash Budget

Columbia Tribune reports on a zonkers of a story… See it here.

“A Cole County circuit judge Thursday ordered a $118 million garnishment against the Missouri Department of Corrections after the state failed to satisfy a judgment in a class-action brought by corrections officers for unpaid overtime. The state, in response, directed Central Bank not to honor the garnishment because there is no appropriation for legal costs big enough to pay it, State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick said Friday.  Finding the cash will further strain a state budget already facing uncertainty over declining income tax receipts…

MOScout Daily Update: Reaction to Smith's Non-Bonding Plan - No Charter Showdown - Tisaby Grand Jury and more...

Education Day Canceled

After all the build-up, the House didn’t take up the charter school expansion bill yesterday.  Champions of the bill think they have 82 votes for passage within reach, but there’s no margin of error.  One supportive representative was missing because of a family funeral, another left after taking a fall.  The issue will be back for sure, but they need all their votes present.

MOScout Daily Update: Smith Scuttles Gov's Bonding Plan - Charter Showdown in the House - STL City Election Results - Auditor's Fiscal Note on Merger and more...

Auditor’s Note on STL City-County Merger

The Auditor’s Office released their fiscal note for the initiative petition to merge St. Louis’ City and County.  “Individual St. Louis County municipalities expect decreased revenues to exceed savings with a total unknown impact. The overall savings for the new metropolitan city is unknown but estimated to be as much as $1 billion annually by 2032. State revenue is estimated to increase between $2.5 million to $7 million annually by 2032.”

MOScout Daily Update: Trump Owns Center Ring 2020 - Fear of GOP Factions - PDMP Talk - Senate 29 Talk and more...

President Donald Trump will own the spotlight for the next eighteen months, and will likely be the defining issue in 2020.

Republicans will have to decide if they’re conservatives, if they’re constitutionalists, or if they’re Trumpists and will stick with the president regardless of what the next year and a half brings.

Rep. Shamed Dogan, has decided.  He tweets “A vote to support President Trump's emergency declaration is a vote for the next Democratic President's emergency declaration on the Green New Deal. Hope Senators @HawleyMO & @RoyBluntMO vote to defend Congress' authority against executive overreach.”

For now, Trump is above water in Missouri.  Remington had his Missouri approval at 53% in the middle of February and Survey America had it at 53.9% around the same time.  And inside those numbers, he’s very popular among Missouri Republicans, like 89% approval.

MOScout Daily Update: The Week Ahead, and the Weekend Behind and more...

The Week Ahead…

Grab some popcorn because things could be interesting this week in the Senate.  At last Thursday’s press availability, Floor Leader Caleb Rowden said that education reform would probably be coming up for debate soon.

He may have been referring to Sen. Andrew Koenig’s SB 160 that establishes education saving accounts, or Sen. Bill Eigel’s SB 292 which would expand where charter schools can operate.

MOScout Weekender: February Refunds Drop 16% - Weekly Poll Shows Parson Leads Dems - Hallway Worries About GOP Factions - WWTW and more...

February Revenue Numbers

The February state numbers show revenue from individual income tax flat with February 2018.  But the amount that the state expended on refunds dropped 16%.  That together with strong sales tax growth of 10.5% brought the net revenue for the month to a positive 17.9% compared to a year ago.

A lot of eyes are watching that refund number because the anticipation is that the tax cut snafu is depressing the refunds that Missourians will receive.

MOScout Daily Update: Polling on Parson, Trump - Schatz' Anti-CLEAN - Next Week Senate Fireworks and more...

Schatz’ Anti-CLEAN

Filed yesterday (the last day to file bills) was SJR 29.  Its sponsor is Pro Tem Dave Schatz, signaling that this is potentially THE vehicle for the anti-CLEAN effort.

This version is very simple.  It would swap out the $5 lobbyist gift limit, replacing it with a total ban.  This is the “ballot candy” that will be popular with voters.

And it would re-order the criteria by which the district lines are drawn.  CLEAN prioritized “fairness” and “competitiveness.”  This SJR would put contiguousness and compactness ahead of those characteristics.

Why It Matters

This is likely a “go to the mattresses” issues for Senate Dems.  It’s a filibuster-PQ timebomb.  In other words you want to get your bills passed before this thing goes off…

MOScout Daily Update: Senate Filbusters, Perfects Joinder - New MOScout Feature! - House Perfects Pro-Life - CLEAN Polling and more....

Senate Filibuster

Senate Democrats filibustered all night long as it worked through Sen. Ed Emery’s tort reform bill.

Moments ago they resolved their differences, and the filibuster ended with the bill being perfected.   Sen. Scott Sifton was the lead Democratic negotiator.  He thanked Emery, as well as Sen. Tony Leutkemeyer and Floor Leader Caleb Rowden for their efforts to find resolution.

MOScout Daily Update: Conservative Caucus Preps Anti-Bonding Proposal - Candidate PACs - Endowment Tax? - Cable vs Streamers and more...

Jami Hits Reed

In a new TV ad (see it here) Sen. Jamilah Nasheed calls crime her “#1 priority.” The ad features the incumbent, Lewis Reed, saying that crime is not his responsibility, making him look ineffectual on a top issue for city voters. The election is one week from today.

And

8-Day COH numbers…

Reed: not filed yet.

Nasheed: $129,718

Megan Green: $13,114