MOScout Daily Update: Kander Stuns - Big $$$ Next Session? - Otto Runs Against RTW and more....

Kander Exits Race, Cites PTSD Struggle

Jason Kander dropped out of the Kansas City mayor’s race in a stunning announcement yesterday.  Kander says he’s been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and depression and is seeking medical help. In his recent book he wrote of trouble adjusting back to civilian life and anxiety and nightmares, but still I don’t know anyone who had an inkling of Kander’s struggle. 

See the full announcement here.

By all objective measures, things have been going well for me the past few months. My first book became a New York Times Bestseller in August. Let America Vote has been incredibly effective, knocking on hundreds of thousands of doors and making hundreds of thousands of phone calls. I know that our work is making a big difference. And last Tuesday, I found out that we were going to raise more money than any Kansas City mayoral campaign ever has in a single quarter. But instead of celebrating that accomplishment, I found myself on the phone with the VA’s Veterans Crisis Line, tearfully conceding that, yes, I have had suicidal thoughts. And it wasn’t the first time.

I’m done hiding this from myself and from the world. When I wrote in my book that I was lucky to not have PTSD, I was just trying to convince myself. And I wasn’t sharing the full picture. I still have nightmares. I am depressed…

So after 11 years of trying to outrun depression and PTSD symptoms, I have finally concluded that it’s faster than me. That I have to stop running, turn around, and confront it.

I finally went to the VA in Kansas City yesterday and have started the process to get help there regularly. To allow me to concentrate on my mental health, I’ve decided that I will not be running for mayor of Kansas City…

And

KC Star says with Kander’s exit, former Sen. Jolie Justus might jump back in…

 

1 Big Trend: Future Revenue Streams

The current state revenue picture appears too be lackluster.  See below that September’s numbers were a tepid 2.3% increase over last September.  Fiscal year to date we’re still below water, down over 3% compared to last year.  Most observers blame the goofed withholding tables which will soon be corrected.

However most assessments of the future see a bevy of new revenue streams giving the state new ways to invest in priority areas.

·         Prop D – Although current polling has this ballot issue losing right now, there’s a robust campaign in place, and the smart money thinks it’ll pass on Election Day.  This is projected to raise $400 million annually.

·         MMJ – There are three medical marijuana proposals on the ballot, each with different taxing methods and earmarks for where the revenue would go.  It’s unlikely all three would fail. 

·         Managed care FRA – Speaker-elect Elijah Haahr tax reform bill had a provision which would have changed managed care’s FRA (federal reimbursement allowance), resulting in an additional $30 million for the budget.  This could be reintroduced as legislation next year.

·         Video lottery – This was one of the few items that didn’t cross the finish line last year. According to KMOV “Sen. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) says the State of Missouri would be a big winner as well. The state is estimated to collect $180 million from the video lottery machines.”  That’s big money.

·         Sports betting – Like the streamlined sales tax (below) there’s now judicial clarity on this issue, and it has some folks saying Missouri should be “Midwest sports gambling Mecca.” This is matter of finding a compromise between the sports leagues and the casinos.  The sports leagues have lobbied up for the battle which will define – among other things – what their cut of the action is.  $50 million is an estimate for revenue based on a 12% tax rate.

·         Streamlined sales tax – There seems to have development a broad consensus that the changing economy has necessitated a change in sale tax collection if only to complete a fair playing field between internet and Main Street retailers.  KC Star says “Missouri could bring in an additional $180 million to $275 million.”

But

The legislation to bring some of these streams of revenue to reality is only half the battle – at most.  The real fight will be how the money is spent.  There will be two species of legislators in this regard.  The first bloc will be free market conservatives who will argue that raising taxes in one area should be counteracted with a lowering of taxes elsewhere to keep the overall tax burden to Missourians static. 

The second type will be a splintering of special interest groups clamoring for their piece of the larger pie.  Three in particular may claim support from the second floor with Governor Mike Parson focused on workforce development and infrastructure: transportation advocates, higher education advocates, and early childhood advocates.

If Prop D doesn’t pass, some will argue to funnel some of these streams to improve the roads.  If Prop D does pass, infrastructure fans will likely pivot to talking about ports and multi-modal transportation infrastructure.

Meanwhile Higher Ed can honestly point to the fact that their budgets have been consistently on the block whenever the state has had a shortfall in the past decade.  It’s time to start reinvesting.

And early childhood advocates have plenty of research to back up their assertion that a dollar invested early can provide huge returns to the state.

And

Another priority which may get some traction would be an increase in pay for the state’s workforce.

Finally

The largest factor determining where how new revenue streams will be earmarked is: what committee they’re assigned to.  For example, if sport betting ends up in General Laws, that’s the committee chair who will have an outsized role in deciding how the dollar will ultimately be spent.

 

Otto Runs Against RTW

Democrat Bill Otto challenging Rep. Tom Hannegan in St. Charles’ House 65 has released his first ad.  It appears he plans to use right to work as his signature issue.  See the ad here.  It’ll be interesting to see if this is the approach Dems use across the state in places where RTW failed.

“My opponent, Tom Hannegan, is out of touch. He was all too eager to vote yes on right to work, legislation that residents of this district soundly rejected by 73%...”

 

MCM for NA MMJ Amendment?

According to this email from NORML Senator Claire McCaskill has endorsed the New Approach constitutional amendment for medical marijuana. 

--------- Forwarded message ---------

From: NORML Action <normlnews@norml.org>

Date: Tue, Oct 2, 2018, 9:01 AM

Subject: Time to commit to vote for pro-patient Amendment 2!

We’re just five weeks from election day and NORML has endorsed Amendment 2 for the state of Missouri.

This is a patient-centered proposal that puts power in the hands of state-licensed physicians and their patients, not politicians or bureaucrats. Passage of Amendment 2 will create a robust statewide system for production and sale of medical cannabis.

Of the three proposals on the ballot this fall, we believe that Amendment 2 is the clear choice for voters.

“The Amendment 2 campaign appreciates NORML’s endorsement, as well as many others we have received, including from the Missouri Epilepsy Foundation and Senator Claire McCaskill,” said Dan Viets, Board President of New Approach Missouri – the grassroots group that is sponsoring Amendment 2, and a member of NORML’s Board of Directors….

 

September State Revenues Anemic

The press release: State Budget Director Dan Haug announced today that net general revenue collections for September 2018 increased 2.3 percent compared to those for September 2017, from $875.4 million last year to $895.2 million this year.

The 2018 fiscal year-to-date net general revenue collections decreased 3.2 percent compared to September 2017, from $2.24 billion last year to $2.17 billion this year…

 

Bits

Galloway gets into the Gray Lady with her sex offender registry audit.  See it here“According to the audit, about 91 percent of noncompliant sex offenders did not have warrants outstanding for their arrest.”

 

Missouri Farm Bureau Board Member Brent Hampy has been appointed by the Trump administration to serve as Missouri’s State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency (FSA), a division of the United States Department of Agriculture.  See the press release here.

 

Tipster… they’re bracing for HEAVY turnout in St. Louis County next month.  “St. Louis County Board of Elections is calling around  to make sure there's enough parking at polling places…”

 

Events

Hillary Shields fundraiser with special guest Auditor Nicole Galloway at Stockyards Brewing Co., Kansas City – 5:30PM.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Jeremy LaFaver added The Opportunity Trust, and Missouri Charter Public School Association.

David Jackson added Essentials in Education.

Jacqueline Bardgett, John Parris, Chris Roepe, John Bardgett, and Kim Tuttle deleted Celgene Corporation.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Friends of the St. Louis Zoo - $50,000 from Williams Patent Crusher & Pulverizer Company Inc.

Friends of the St. Louis Zoo - $50,000 from Williams Patent Crusher & Pulverizer Company Inc.

Uniting Missouri PAC - $5,200 from Cole Shuttle Service.

Committee for a Healthy Community - $9,898 from American Heart Association.

Committee to Elect Jeff Roorda - $10,000 from Jeffrey Roorda Revocable Trust.

Missouri Corn Growers Association State Political Action Committee - $10,721  from Missouri Cattlemen’s Association.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from William Kapp III.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $7,000 from Friends of Rusty Black.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Sens. Maria Chappelle-Nadal and John Rizzo, Josh Foster and Zora Mulligan.