Another Tough Month
I’ve written about this on and off, but to recap where we are…
State tax revenues have been sputtering despite record lows in unemployment and solid GDP growth.
The culprit is thought to be mistakes with the Department of Revenue’s withholding tables. This means that Missourians have been paying fewer taxes than they will ultimately owe.
The administration – with the support of the House – believes that this lagging revenue is not so cattywampus that it will be a big problem once the withholds are corrected and everything squares out in April.
However, for those keeping score, November was another tough month.
November’s sales and use tax collection was 5% below November 2017; and individual income tax receipts were 7% lower. Net general revenue collections for November were 9% below a
year earlier, bring the fiscal year to date comparison to a negative 4.94%.
Governor Mike Parson had a blow-out fundraiser last night in Springfield. See a copy of the invite here. Lots of big names. It’s said that Parson brought in nearly $200K for his campaign committee. That’s very impressive considering the Amendment 2 limits.
Word is that Joseph Passanise was one of the prime movers of the fundraiser. Passanise was Tom Schweich’s campaign treasurer, so it’s a coup for Parson to have his support.
Follow-Up on Legislature Following Record Retention Law
MATA’s Sharon Jones has written a very sensible and helpful memo about legislators becoming compliant with the sunshine and records retention laws. Spoiler: you shouldn’t be willy-nilly deleting emails. See it here.
There are two key things to recognize about this language. First, each individual Senator and Representative is responsible for making an office policy, maintaining their own active records, and responding to Sunshine Requests made to their office. Second, the amendment applies existing law to legislative records rather than creating a new open records law specifically for that type of record. Applying current law means that many of the questions and concerns that a legislator may ask have already been addressed by another State entity that maintains records under the same law. Being the custodian of their own records means that an individual Senator or Representative has significant control over the policy that will be followed by their office.
Rumorville: Hulshof for Treasurer?
Here’s a new name I heard as being in the mix for treasurer… Renee Hulshof, radio personality on KFRU. Hulshof is no stranger to Missouri politics. She’s wife to former congressman Kenny Hulshof. And a few years ago she was one of four people “appointed to the University of Missouri System Review Commission created by the General Assembly in response to a perceived lack of UM leadership.”
At some point, you need someone to sign the checks; the second floor is going to have to pull the trigger. One denizen sees it happening before Christmas.
Sen.-elect Tony Luetkemeyer filed SB155 which establishes a prescription drug monitoring program. His predecessor fought successfully to prevent any PDMP bill from passing during his tenure. Times change.
Rep. Holly Rehder, who has championed the issue for years, filed a House bill as well.
Banks Wary of MMJ $$$
St. Louis Business Journal reports that “St. Louis banks are confronting a quandry as they prepare for marijuana businesses seeking banking services after Missouri’s legalization for medical uses. Most haven’t published written policies, but they lean strongly against doing business in the industry because of legal risks… ‘This is a complex and difficult subject that has more questions for bankers than clear-cut answers at this point,’ said Jim Watson, chairman and CEO of Midwest BankCentre, with $1.9 billion in assets. ‘We have maintained a policy of not participating in banking marijuana related businesses because of the conflict between state and federal law.’
See a quick licensure roadmap for the nascent industry here.
Charge Ahead...Probably Should
One PSC watcher tips that “this week the PSC has a hearing for a pilot project that could make a big difference in Missouri in the coming years.
The project proposed by Ameren Missouri is small. It would allow less than $2M per year for five years. But it represents the type of public-private partnership for infrastructure that could be a model for the future.
Part of this plan would allow incentives/dollars (partnerships) for EV charging stations for third parties such as businesses, shopping centers and convenience stores. Another part of this allows for modest incentives for businesses to switch to electric powered equipment, like fork trucks.
This makes sense for the same reason the General Assembly included an economic develop rider in SB 564 last session. When a utility increases energy sales these sales spread across the same fixed costs and thus lower overall customer costs. Plus, it lowers overall carbon emissions.
While this issue has been lingering before the PSC most of 2018, it is being heard in the same week that GM announces a shift to ALL EV cars by 2023... the future is coming….”
AP reports that “a Missouri state senator has resigned early to ensure his right to register as a lobbyist sooner rather than later. Democratic Sen. Jake Hummel of St. Louis resigned last Friday — just ahead of a constitutional amendment taking effect Thursday that requires lawmakers to wait two years after the end of their terms before becoming lobbyists. Hummel lost re-election earlier this year and was scheduled to leave office in January. By leaving now, he will be subject only to a six-month lobbyist waiting period in current law. Hummel said he plans to continue to work as secretary-treasurer of the Missouri AFL-CIO…”
Daryl Duwe added U.S. Cellular.
Gannon For Jefferson County - $10,000 from Dennis Gannon.
Happy birthdays to Tammy Corrigan.