Thursday, April 20, 2017

Galloway: Lack of Transparency Has Fallen Over State Government

Auditor Nicole Galloway issued a subpoena for the Department of Revenue to turn over its tax refund information after they’ve refused.  Galloway says she’s trying to ascertain if they’re following the 2015 law requiring refunds be issued within 45 days.  See the KC Star story here.

Pull Quote: “There is a lack of transparency that has fallen over state government at the direction of the governor,” Galloway said Wednesday. “This isn’t the first wall that we’ve run into, and so we’re finding a trend here.” A spokesman for Greitens, a Republican, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Galloway, a Democrat, said her office has held meetings with the governor’s legal counsel, chief of staff and deputy chief of staff to work toward getting the requested information. But for six weeks, the governor’s office and the Department of Revenue have refused. On Monday, Galloway said the administration agreed to turn over information about tax refund payouts under former Gov. Jay Nixon, but not information about the current fiscal year….

And

The Post reports on legislators disclosing their inaugural costs while Greitens refuses to.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Attempts to pry loose that information have been floated by lawmakers. Rep. Mark Ellebracht,  D-Liberty, filed House Bill 949 to require Greitens to release more details of the inaugural. That proposal remains bottled up in the House and is unlikely to advance further… In a statement, Ellebracht decried Greitens' secrecy… “Missourians are entitled to know exactly who paid for the governor’s party and how much money they kicked in…”

 

Senate Getting Schaafed?

The Senate limped along yesterday with Sen. Rob Schaaf repeatedly taking time to read from a study about how gifts impact behavior.  He thinks the legislature should enact a total gift ban.  And he railed against the state’s decision to move toward managed care.  And he’s upset where the Speaker referred the PDMP bill.  So he knocked House bills (HB 871, HCS HB 304, HB 909, HCS HB 631, HCS HB 703, HB 843, HB 200, HCS HB 199, HB 956, HB 87, HB 587, HCS HB 258, HCS HB 645, HCS HB 183, HCS HB 542, HB 61, HB 128, HB 678, HB 701, HB 964, HB 811, HB 805, HB 664) off the Senate consent calendar.

The cumulative effect of all of these actions was fear.  Fear that the Senate might slow down so much over the next two weeks or that Schaaf might create so much havoc in the Senate, that the legislature will might its constitutional deadline of May 5 to pass the budget.

One observer thinks that Governor Eric Greitens might find such a scenario favorable.  It would be a good contrast with his production of executive orders to have a legislature - albeit Republican – incapable of fulfilling even its bare minimum duties.  Calling them back in, promising to make them “do different,” that might make a nice Facebook video….

 

HB306 Heats Up?

Rep. TJ Berry’s HB306 which appears on its face to be a tug-of-war between two weigh station vendors, Help Inc and Drivewyse is heating up.  The bill was perfected last week.  In the lobbyists registrations we’re seeing a slow escalation.  And now a website has been created offering the talking points of the Help side.  See it here.

 

Krewson Shakes Up Police

After a sit-down with the new mayor, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson decides to retire. This is not too surprising.  Mayor Lyda Krewson ran heavily on the issue of crime.  She’s going to want her own person heading up the police force.

The statement: "The chief and I had a chance to talk about the future of the Department, and he made the decision to retire," Krewson said following a Wednesday morning meeting with Dotson. "I am grateful to Chief Dotson for his service and commitment to the people of the City of St. Louis."

As I wrote a few weeks ago - all the talk about how “nice” Krewson is? She’s really tough as steel?...

 

Abortion Law Stuck Down

Post-Dispatch reports…  A federal judge kept on Wednesday his promise to block two state laws in Missouri that have kept clinics outside of the Planned Parenthood in St. Louis from performing abortions… Sachs said abortion rights of Missouri women were guaranteed by the U.S. Supreme Court in last year’s landmark decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that struck down similar restrictions in Texas… But Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican, vowed to appeal.   Read it here.

 

Bits

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals presented

Sen. Roy Blunt the NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence… “Mallinckrodt applauds the selection of Senator Blunt as recipient of the NAM Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence. His support of pro-manufacturing legislation is highly beneficial to America’s manufacturers, with domestic manufacturing critical to the strength of our nation’s economy,” said Dr. Frank Scholz, Executive Vice President, Operations and President, Specialty Generics for Mallinckrodt and NAM Board Member…

 

Who knew that Massachusetts “bans the concept of happy hour entirely?”  Weekly Standard looks at the proposal to changes alcohol advertising in Missouri. See it here.

 

Victory Enterprises’ Joe Lakin gets quoted in Campaigns & Elections about making necessity of making investments in apps.  See it here.

 

Governor Eric Greitens appointed Courtney Kovachevich, Joseph Plaggenberg, Eric Reece, and Alice Chang to the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board

 

One MOScouter wonders if Mayor Sly James’ appearance at Mayor Lyda Krewson’s inaugural signaled a possible statewide ambition on the part of the western pol…

 

Rep. Steven Roberts’ lawsuit against Rep. Cora Walker is now scheduled for jury trial on June 5.  It was rescheduled from a date earlier this week.

 

Ed Martin’s latest email blast defends Bill O’Reilly“What is O'Reilly's real crime?  It wasn't his treatment of women.  The left abuses women all the time - see Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, most Hollywood powers, etc.  The unproven accusations against O'Reilly are just a convenient tool for the fight.  No, O'Reilly's crime is that he is too good at taking on the powers-that-be… Ed Martin was hand-picked by Phyllis Schlafly to succeed her as President of her Eagle Forum organizations...”

 

Help Wanted

MCADSV seeks Communications Director.  “The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence seeks a motivated professional for the position of communications director. MCADSV, a social-justice membership agency, is a membership of more than 100 domestic and sexual violence service providers and a large and growing network of collaborative partners throughout a variety of systems and disciplines. The Communications Director is responsible for planning, writing, editing, organizing, and/or executing work related to the agency's publications/manuals, print and online media, website, social media, electronic newsletter, special events, media releases, and events and projects….”  See the ad here.

 

Missouri Department of Revenue seeks Deputy General Counsel.  “The Department is a Government Agency and is the central collection agency for all state and non-state revenues. This position will provide leadership and direction in areas specializing in transportation, administration, and investigations. The work primarily consists of managing staff responsible for litigation and cases involving administrative DWI laws, contract, personnel law, and investigations…”  See it here.

 

St. Louis County seeks Chief Deputy Sheriff.  “Under the direction of the Sheriff, this position manages the staff responsible for administrative functions within the office… Establishes and maintains effective controls by promulgating meaningful policies, procedures, performance standards; provides training and evaluations of subordinate personnel and activities… Maintains awareness of changes in state, county, and federal laws affecting Sheriff's Office activities and recommends modifications of policies, practices, and procedures to comply with those changes… Salary is $56,950 - $91,124 annually…”

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Tony Dugger added Missouri Trucking Association.

David McCracken added Drivewyze.

Lynn Schlosser added W. E. Shoehigh, LLC On Behalf Of Apollo Education Group.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Chris Moody, Chris Roepe, Pam Dixon, and Amanda Latty.