Thursday, September 21, 2017

Special for 144?

The rumor I wrote about yesterday morning was confirmed hours later by a press release that Paul Fitzwater was taking spot on the Board of Probation and Parole. One observer thinks that we could see the governor call a special election to fill Fitzy’s seat (House 144).

“Fitzwater has been fundraising for Chris Dinkins and is expected to endorse her for the nomination.  She appears to have a majority of the committee votes secured. It doesn’t her that her son worked for Greitens.”

Brett Dinkins was an early staffer during the primary, worked on the transition and was the Department of Economic Development’s legislative liaison.  He recently left to go help Rep. Mike Cierpiot.

Meanwhile

Vinnie Clubb who had started a campaign to succeed Fitzwater posted this on Facebook… “What does this mean for our campaign? With the legislative seat vacant, the Governor has the ability to create a special election…. There is no primary election. You will not be able to express your support in a primary vote.  Let your voice be heard! The Jefferson City insiders are already doing all they can to manipulate this process.”

 

Hawley’s House

Post-Dispatch reports on Boone County Clerk Taylor Burks investigation into Attorney General Josh Hawley’s voter registration.  See it here.

Pull Quote:  A mid-Missouri election official has cleared Attorney General Josh Hawley of any potential voting irregularities in his county, but questions of where exactly the Republican is required to live remain unresolved….

See Halwey’s DC lawyer’s response to Burks’ inquiry here.

MOScouter: This doesn't put the matter to rest at all - in fact, Greitens' Republican appointee as Boone County Clerk, Taylor Burks, has given Team Claire and the Democrats fresh fodder by making clear Hawley does NOT reside in the seat of Missouri government. They should buy him a Booches' famous cheeseburger as a thank-you! Brianna Lennon, the Democrat who plans to challenge Burks in November 2018, also comes up with the short end of the stick - Burks can point to his unhelpful conclusion for Hawley as evidence he runs a fair office irrespective of party politics….

 

Gross Tax Recipts?

Columbia Missourian reports on the Greitens administration floating a fundamental change to the state’s tax system.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Department of Revenue Director Joel Walters said the state should pull away from its reliance on individual income tax and consider alternative options, such as the gross receipts tax, that offer simplicity and fewer unnecessary exemptions. Walters delivered the recommendations as a guest speaker for the Show-Me Institute during a policy breakfast Tuesday morning at the Country Club of Missouri. The St. Louis-based institute promotes public policies that advance free-market principles.  The state’s heavy reliance on individual income tax, Walters argued, doesn’t incentivize the right business behaviors, and is an overall unstable source of revenue for the government because of its cyclical tendencies.

What It Means

It hard to imagine Missouri transitioning to a gross receipts tax.  That’s because conservatives are usually critical of it because “the same product is taxed multiple times as it moves to the market.”

This feels like wasted energy and a distraction.  Team Greitens will do better to stick to a simple mantra of eliminating loopholes and exemptions while lowering the overall rates.

 

Latest Repeal and Replace

Missouri gets a little more funding under the latest version of Repeal and Replace.  See a NYTimes chart here.

But

In their article Centene’s topper isn’t a fan….  “From a public policy standpoint, it is not a good piece of legislation,” Centene’s chief executive, Michael F. Neidorff, said in an interview. He urged lawmakers from both parties to work together to avoid passing a law before understanding its full impact. States may not be able to plan, given the uncertainty over their funding, he said. “You could end up with 50 different plans,” he said.  “This is unlike anything I have ever seen,” Mr. Neidorff said. “They have to sit back and think through what they are doing.”

 

RFP for EQR of Managed Care

The state has issued an RFP for its annual external quality review (EQR) of the Managed Care Programs.  “[It] has been conducted since September 1, 1996.  The EQR Review is conducted on a calendar year basis.  The current contract for External Quality Review Services expires on December 31, 2017…”

Behavioral Health Concepts Inc has had the contract the past several years.  Last year it was paid $421,500.  But with managed care programs going statewide, this year’s contract amount will likely be higher.

 

Choatic E&A Meeting

The mighty Jason Rosenbaum reports on a passion-filled and often chaotic meeting of St. Louis City government yesterday.  See his article here.  See some video here.  The Board of Estimate and Apportionment is a governing body made up of the mayor, the president of the Board of Aldermen, and the comptroller.  The board voted to approve a no-cost, one-year contract to supply police body cameras from Axon.

Axon’s lobbyist is Dave Sweeney.

 

Bits

Governor Eric Greitens scheduled to be at Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference this weekend.  We’ll see if he keeps the date.  Not sure the gov wants to be in Michigan with protests going on…

 

Rep. Diane Franklin working the Senate 16 campaign… See it here.

 

New Committees

Rodger Reedy formed a candidate committee (Friends Of Rodger L Reedy) to run as a Republicans for House 57.  The current incumbent, Rep. Wanda Brown, is termed.  Reedy is the Benton County Assessor.

 

Today’s Events

Powered by Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

Rep. Muntzel/Basye Golf – L A Nickell Golf Course – Columbia – 11AM.

Rep. John Wiemann Reception – Ameristar Casino – St. Charles – 5PM

Senate candidate Lincoln Hough Reception – Metropolitan Grill – Springfield – 5:30PM.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Midwest Regional Laborers’ Political League Education Fund - $7,672 from Laborers Supplemental Dues Fund.

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $25,000 from Hallmark Cards, Inc.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to former Rep. Roman LeBlanc, Senate 34 candidate Tony Luetkemeyer, House 144 candidate Vinnie Clubb, and Pat Strader.