MOScout Daily Update: Waiting on T-Day - Bax to AFL - STL Reorg? - Parson on LGBT Protections and more....

T-Day?

Word is that Reps. Jean Evans and Shamed Dogan are no longer under active consideration for the state treasurer’s spot.  That shortens the rumored short list.

The guess is that it’s down to Reps. Scott Fitzpatrick and Holly Rehder, with an outside shot going to Sen. Sandy Crawford.

The talk had been to see an announcement this week. Judging from the “out of office” auto-replies I’ve already started to get, if the governor’s office waits much longer, they’re going to inadvertently bury the news in the Christmas blur. 

One reader taps his watch… “They have had months to make this decision, and we are bumping up against Christmas... It is not like this came out of nowhere. They knew they were going with Schmitt… so it blows my mind that they didn't make that next logical step and realize they would also have to fill his spot.  If you can't handle the paint by numbers decisions then how to handle the really hard ones that come out of the blue?”

 

Bax to AFL

Greta Bax, former chief of staff to Jake Hummel, starts today with the Missouri AFL-CIO.  She’ll be taking over the dislocated worker program and the manufacturing apprenticeship programs.  It’s a nice hire as Bax was one of the best staffers in the building.

 

STL Reorg Coming?

Talk is starting to bubble up about the latest effort to consolidate some of the St. Louis region’s fractured governance. “A local nonprofit overseen by civic leaders and business executives is working on a proposal to combine St. Louis city and county, a move that would create the 10th largest municipality in the country, according to people familiar with the process.”  Jack Grone sketches the “broad outlines” of the proposal here.

What It Means

This is not shaping up to be a simple local issue.  It could swallow significant bandwidth in the building this year… [T]he plan may need to be put to a statewide vote. This is because a new legal class of municipality — perhaps called a “metro” or something similar — might have to be created at the state level… backers pitching a city-county merger to outstate voters in Republican-dominated Missouri as a way to save millions of tax dollars in Democrat-dominated St. Louis city and county…”

 

Vatterott Vanishes, MCCA Offers Support

New broke yesterday (see it here) that the for-profit university Vatterott was immediately closing.  “Vatterott operated 15 campuses specializing in culinary arts, automotive trades, allied health and music production, among other areas. It employed about 950 people, including 500 in Missouri.  In November, the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges voted to revoke Vatterott's accreditation, ruling that the school failed to demonstrate successful student achievement. Vatterott's potential buyer has had its own financial problems. Education Corporation of America announced this month that it too was shuttering all campuses nationwide, after its accrediting agency suspended approval. One of the largest for-profit college chains in the U.S., it had enrolled roughly 20,000 students across more than 70 campuses…”

Brian Millner, president of Missouri Community College Association, tweeted that their organization had setup a support webpage for students left in the lurch.  See it here.

As is getting to be a regular occurrence in this country, another "predatory and financially shaky for-profit" college has closed, leaving students with accrued debt, no degree, no job prospects, and no plan.  Fortunately, community colleges are prepared to serve these students like we serve all students across our state and the country. Visit https://www.mccatoday.org/vatterott-college … for more information about how to help those affected by this unfortunate situation. Accreditation exists to protects students and these for-profit colleges are allowed to bamboozle prospective students. We must demand more from @usedgov…

 

KC Star: Parson Open to LGBT Protections

KCStar interviewed Governor Mike Parson and he’s “open to the idea of extending discrimination protections to LGBT Missourians, though he hedged on what role government has in the debate.”  See it here.

“Do I think people should be discriminated on in the workforce? No I don’t. I never have felt that way,” Parson told The Star. “Even when it’s things I don’t believe in, and I’ve tried to make that apparent. My views are different than some, but at the end of the day, if somebody’s working and they’re a good worker, then I don’t think they should be discriminated against.”

“I just know where my beliefs are as a Christian,” Parson said. “That’s where I am. But everybody doesn’t have to agree with me on that. And I mean, there have been plenty of people that I would consider my friends that don’t agree with me on that.”

 

State Revenues Elsewhere Higher

Governing Magazine had an article a few days ago (see it here) about the uptick in state revenues across the country.  “A year ago, state budget directors were pumping the breaks on spending amid uncertainty over the economy and how the federal tax overhaul would hit state finances. But after 12 months of revenue growth that has surpassed just about anyone’s expectations, states are planning on some of the biggest spending increases since before the Great Recession.

A total of 40 states beat their revenue projections in fiscal 2018, the highest number to do so since 2006, according to a survey released this week by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO)… The spending growth may ultimately be higher than that when all is said and done. Just halfway through fiscal 2019, a total of 19 states are now reporting that revenues are coming in above target… John Hicks, NASBO’s executive director, says most of the growth states are seeing is from income tax revenues, which increased by nearly 8 percent in fiscal 2018 over the prior year. Sales tax revenues also had one of the strongest years in recent memory, growing by 4.2 percent…”

And

One former legislator who still keeps an eye on these things is not so worried about the current lull in Missouri’s state revenues.  But he’s very worried that when the next downturn comes, Missouri’s budget will extremely difficult to manage.  We’ve been cutting taxes into the strength of revenues, but the economy goes the other way, things will be hairy.

 

Finally

One MOScouter says “Rudi Keller’s column is becoming must-read.”  This one looks at the Alternative Opportunities case unfolding in Arkansas and looks at its Missouri ties.  See it here.

 

eMailbag: First Lady Doesn’t Suffice For Female Input

A marriage that leads to a role is not anywhere near the same as hiring or appointing a professional no matter how demanding or how well she performs it.  Hiring should be done based on the ability to do the job; however when ALL the top hires or appointments are white males it does indicate that there may well be an inherent bias in the wiring.

 

New Committees

Friends of SPS was formed.  It’s a PAC.  Its treasurer is Tom Prater.

Wallace Hartsfield II formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Wallace Hartsfield II) to run for Kansas City Councilperson as a Democrat.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Uniting Missouri PAC - $44,800 from Sam Fox.

Uniting Missouri PAC - $20,000 from UnitedHealth Group Inc.

Health PAC - $6,100 from HCA Missouri Good Government Fund.

Midwest Region Laborers' Political League Education Fund - $7,672 from Laborers Supplemental Dues Fund.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Rep. Nick Schroer, Greg Porter, Josh Haynes, and Megan Browning.