Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Longest Special?

Rumors from earlier in the summer were that the governor’s office was interested in calling multiple special sessions, maybe one a month until veto session.

Well, here we are on #2, and that’s not going to happen.  Things are moving slow on this one.

Post-Dispatch’s Kurt Erickson says look for the Senate to finally reconvene to look at the House amendments to its bill on… the week of July 24.

Springfield News-Leader has Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe explaining that “it's difficult coordinating lawmakers and staff over the summer to work on the proposed policy changes.”

 

Revenue Looks Weak

From the latest daily reveneu read out that I’ve seen, have this month’s revenue in negative territory.   They’re being dragged down by higher refunds.  It puts the fiscal year-to-date number at just a smidge over 2%.

And Joplin News’ Crystal Thomas Springfield News-Leader reports on Budget Chair Scott Fitzpatrick’s bearish outlook.  See it here.

Pull Quote: With the fiscal year ending on Friday, Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, said that current revenue trend showed that the state will not collect as much money as originally estimated…

"The gross collection numbers are not going to change all that much (in one week)," Tom Kruckemeyer, chief economist with nonprofit Missouri Budget Project, said Monday… Both Fitzpatrick and Kruckemeyer posited different explanations as to why the state revenue didn't grow as much as expected. With positive economic indicators like a mild unemployment rate, both said that a slow economy is most likely not the reason why revenue is low. Both agreed that some of the shortfall can be attributed a huge factor in last year's shortfall: a collapse of corporate revenue caused by a law passed in 2015. Senate Bill 19 was passed so that multistate corporations based in Missouri could exempt sales made in other states from their taxes. Budget hawks, including Fitzpatrick and Kruckemeyer, pointed to the law as one of the reasons the state had to hand out more than $60 million in corporate revenue tax refunds in June of last year as corporations adjusted their taxes to reflect the new law. In one fiscal year, corporate collections dropped from $436 million to $281 million…. Text messages, calls and an email to the governor's press secretary went unanswered. A call to Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, Dan Brown, R-Rolla, was not returned. The Office of Administration Budget and Planning could not provide comment by press time.

What It Means

It certainly gives more weight to the governor’s tax credit commission. The final report is due by the end of the week.  Republicans are loathe to vote for any tax increase.  But if the report’s final recommendations include “closing loopholes” or “cutting subsidies” that would be more palatable – even if it has the same effect of increasing the tax burden.

 

We Are Mi$$ouri

We Are Missouri – the campaign committee behind the referendum to repeal the new right to work law – recorded another round of big checks from labor organizations.

This brings their total (in large checks only) to $729,000.

 

Waters of US

The EPA proposed ending the “Waters of the US” regulations, and it seems everyone is happy…

Eric Greitens

Governor Greitens said, "When we took office, we asked our farmers and ranchers what we could do to fight for them. One of the things we heard is that they needed our help to push back against Obama's Waters of the US regulations. Well, we took that message to Washington D.C. and the good news is they've heard us. They've heard that Obama's Waters of the US regulations are hurting family farmers."

Claire McCaskill

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, who broke with her party to oppose the EPA’s proposed “Waters of the U.S.” rule to regulate waterways, and supported bipartisan legislation to roll it back, today welcomed President Trump’s proposed rollback of that regulation…

 

Hough Announces for Senate 20

The press release: Former state representative Lincoln Hough announces his candidacy for the Missouri state senate, District 20, currently held by Jay Wasson who is term-limited.

Hough, who is currently serving as Greene County Associate Commissioner, lives outside of Fair Grove with his wife Sarah and their son William. Hough is also a cattle rancher and fourth generation Fair Grove resident… Hough currently has close to $160,000 on hand in his campaign account. He will report over $200,000 cash on hand in his candidate committee for the July 15 Missouri Ethics Filing.

The ball is in Eric Burlison’s court now…

 

New Committees

Suzie Pollock, wife of former Rep. Darrell Pollock, has started a campaign committee to run for House 123 as a Republican.  This is Rep. Diane Franklin’s seat; she’s moving to the Senate (Brown seat).

Meanwhile on the Democratic side of House 123, Alan Addington has started a committee. See his ActBlue page here.

Louis Riggs (see bio here) started a committee to run for House 5 as a Republican.  Rep. Lindell Shumake is termed and said to be considered a Senate bid.

 

Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

Reps.  Sonya Anderson, Hannah Kelly, Jered Taylor & Curtis Trent Breakfast – 2535 N Kansas Expressway – Springfield -7:30AM.

Rep. David Gregory Reception – Tani Sushi Bar – Clayton – 5:30PM.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $12,500 from Robert Blitz.

Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri 2665 PAC Fund - $6,200 from Professional Firefighters of Eastern Missouri.

We Are Missouri - $115,000 from Preserve Middle-Class America Inc.

We Are Missouri - $15,000 from Gas Workers 11-6 USW.

We Are Missouri - $100,000 from American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.

We Are Missouri - $20,000 from SEIU Healthcare IL, IN Operating Account.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Nancy Rice.