MOScout Daily Update: Fitzpatrick Backs No Withholds - Virtual School RFP Issued - Schmitt's Transition Advisors and more...

Fitzy OK With No Withholds

House Budget Chair Scott Fitzpatrick tells MOScout… “Parson should be given credit for not jumping the gun on withholds. I disagree with your ‘budget watcher’ for a few reasons.

One, because revenues exceeded the CRE (5% instead of 1.9%) in FY18, the state started the year with $300 million more in cash than the budget anticipated. Also, as a result of the 5% growth last year and larger beginning cash balance, the 2.5% growth that was projected for FY19 on top of the projected 1.9% growth for FY18 is no longer necessary. Revenues can shrink by 3.5% and the budget will still be balanced. And that would still leave the more than $200 million that was set aside for supplemental needs intact.

As of today, revenue is down 3.55%. It has been hovering in that range most of the year. A big part of that is that refunds are up 35% YTD. That is not a realistically sustainable trend, which should improve our standing. Collections are only down about 1.5% and we know there was an error with the withholding tables that has caused the state to under-collect. Withholds would be difficult to justify given that fact pattern, and I for one agree with the Governor’s decision to not withhold as of now.”

And

As rumored Sen. Dan Hegeman was named Appropriations Chair yesterday by Pro Tem Dave Schatz.

 

Staffers in a CLEAN World

One Senate staffer offer this assessment… “Some see this as public service, which means they have now committed to a career path with little option to change. These will be the people drafting the legislation, balancing the budget and taking care of the constituents across the state….”

 

Schmitt Announces Transition Team

The press release: Incoming Attorney General Eric Schmitt today announced his Transition Team. The Transition Team will focus on reviewing the Attorney General's Office and gathering information relevant to Schmitt’s top priorities as Attorney General…

Chairs: Todd Graves and Jerry Hunter.

Honorary Co-Chairs: John Ashcroft and John Danforth.

Advisors: Amy Boxx, Barry County Prosecuting Attorney; Ben Butler, Cass County Prosecuting Attorney; Bill Corrigan, Partner at Armstrong Teasdale LLP; Blake Hurst, Missouri Farm Bureau President; Daniel Isom, Executive Director of the Regional Justice Information Service Commission; Tim Lohmar, St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney; Brian Munzlinger, Farmer and former Chair of the Missouri Senate Agriculture Committee; Kathy Osborn, Regional Business Council Executive Director; Joe Patterson, St. Louis County Police Detective and President of St. Louis County Police Association; Rev. B.T. Rice, Pastor of New Horizon Christian Church; Mark Woolbright, 2nd District International Association of Firefighters Vice-President; and Danny Whiteley, City of Poplar Bluff Police Chief.

 

RFP For Virtual Schools

The state issued its request for proposals from prospective vendors for possible inclusion in a Qualified Vendors List (QVL) for Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program (MOCAP)…

From the RFP: “The passage of Senate Bill 603 (2018) modified provisions relating to virtual education and changed the name of the virtual program from Missouri Virtual Instruction Program (MOVIP) to Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program (MOCAP)... The Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program (MOCAP) will provide opportunity for students to participate in online courses to Missouri students in grades Kindergarten through 12.  MOCAP is a tuition program that is administered by the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE).  DESE hopes that MOCAP contractors will offer courses to over 500 (Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in the State of Missouri…”

 

Gamble & Schlemeier Register for Anti-Merger Coalition

In the lobbyist registrations below, Gamble and Schlemeier registered to represent Coalition for Choice.  This is the group of citizens opposing MU Health’s purchase of St. Mary’s hospital in Jefferson City.  See the news story here.

 

Something to Think About

From Facebook… my old friend Dave Chilenski, who worked in St. Louis City politics a dozen years…. “Yesterday I passed my test to become an airline pilot. Hundreds of people helped push, encourage and support me in this journey, but no one more than Sarah Meyer Chilenski. Couldn't have done it without her. I also want to remember my friend Brian Hencel who isn't with us anymore, but helped me realize that it's never too late to do something different.”

Hencel was a close friend of Chilenski’s from high school.  About four years ago, he was diagnosed with a rare cancer and quickly succumbed.  It changed Chilenski’s trajectory, inspiring him to pursue his dream.  He started taking flying lessons and today he’s a pilot.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Andy Blunt and Noel Torpey added Chargepoint Inc.

Noel Torpey deleted John Bardgett & Associates Inc.

William Gamble, Cynthia Camble, Kathryn Gamble, Jeffrey Brooks, David Jackson, Jorgen Schlemeier, Sarah Schlemeier and Sarah Topp added Coalition for Choice.

Brent Hemphill and Sarah Juergensmeyer added River City Casino; and deleted Amgen.

Joe Keirn deleted Merck Sharp and Dohme Corp.

Rodney Boyd, Katherine Casas, Brian Grace, and Kelvin Simmons deleted Continental Cement.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Josh Schisler, Alison Gee, and Lara Granich.

Saturday: Frank Plescia, Charlie Dooley, Joe Knodell, Stacy Steen, and Elizabeth Zerr.

Sunday: Stephen Bough, and Theckla Spainhower.