Wednesday, June 7, 2017

First in MOScout: Calzone Sues Again!

Last week, non-registered lobbyist Ron Calzone sued to have another law from 2016 overturned.  This is the third time in the past month that Calzone has engaged the court system to fight the legislature’s work.

The target this time is 2016’s SB 665.  The bill sponsor was then-Sen. Mike ParsonAccording to the bill summary, SB 665 authorized several tax credits (Meat Processing Facility Investment Tax Credit, Agricultural Product Utilization Contributor Tax Credit, and New Generation Cooperative Incentive Tax Credit.) as well as some changes to the Farm-To-Table Program.

Calzone is alleging that the original purpose of the bill was inappropriately changed, and it violates the single-subject rule of Hammerschmidt.

Previously Calzone sued to overturn 2016’s SB638, a wide-ranging education bill, and SCR4 from the most recent regular session.


Driving the Day: Special Session Call

Well, since there wasn’t a special session call yesterday, it’s probably coming today… we’ll see.  Look for it be largely about Sen. Bob Onder’s concern with St. Louis city’s “sanctuary city” ordinance, and recent judicial rulings.  (See Onder’s op/ed here).

And- Audit the Specials?

There are starting to be murmurs about budget constraints on the general assembly if Governor Eric Greitens truly is planning on a series of special sessions.  Eventually the line item for legislators’ per diems would be expended.

And it’s likely that the extraordinarily high cost to Missourians for convening multiple extraordinary sessions is not lost on the state auditor.  One would expect that she would be particularly concerned about circumstances where the issues being addressed are political in nature and more appropriate for the regular session rather than time-sensitive matters that must be addressed in a special.…


Galloway Dings Dept of Rev

Press release: In a letter issued today, Auditor [Nicole] Galloway is calling on the director of the Department of Revenue to take quick action and address taxpayers' complaints.

"Over the last six weeks, more than 1,000 Missourians have contacted my whistleblower hotline seeking information on the status of their tax refund. They report long wait times, disconnected calls, the inability to speak to a representative when seeking status information on their refunds, and receiving a refund after 45 days without receiving interest. Missourians are becoming understandably frustrated by the delay and I urge the Department of Revenue to take all necessary steps to complete refund processing as quickly as possible," Auditor Galloway said…

See the letter here.


Pemiscot Eulogy?

Spend fifteen minutes and read this Washington Post article.  It’ll depress you for the rest of the day.  It’s a look at a multi-generational family on disability and trapped in the hopelessness of modern rural poverty: lots of meds, no job prospects, dysfunctional home, and waiting for the next round of food stamps to be able to buy groceries.  The family lives in Pemiscot County, Missouri.

Pemiscot County is represented by Reps. Andrew McDaniel, Don Rone, and Sen. Doug Libla.


Hillbilly Elegy: A 2018 Forumla?

J.D. Vance, author of best-seller The Hillbilly Elegy, is planning to run for US Senate in Ohio as a Republican. (He’s not a Trump supporter by the way).

The prescription drug issue is likely going to be one of his top campaign issues.  According to the Washington Post article: [Hillbilly Elegy] mostly diagnosed the problem, and now he wants to pivot toward finding solutions. His initial emphasis will be on two broad issues: managing the opioid crisis and improving vocational education.

Might a similar platform work in Missouri in 2018? It’d be a candidate who is committed to solving the opioid crisis, interested in workforce issues and not a Dittohead for Trump.  It could be Claire McCaskill; it could be Todd Richardson.  It could be both…


Kansas Raises Taxes, Reversing Brownback Cuts

Wichita Eagle reports: Lawmakers rolled back Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature tax policy over his objections Tuesday night, forcing into law tax increases to fix a budget shortfall and provide more money for schools.  The legislation ends the "march to zero" income tax cuts that Brownback heralded for much of his time as governor. Income taxes will rise across the board but most tax rates will remain lower than they were before the 2012 tax cuts. The increases are expected to generate more than $1.2 billion for the state over the next two years.  The Senate and House voted 27-13 and 88-31, respectively, to override Brownback’s veto. The action took place on the 109th day of the legislative session and paves the way for lawmakers to wrap up their work quickly, potentially this week.  The override represents a blow to the legacy of one of the most unpopular governors in America, amid speculation that he may not serve out his remaining time in office but instead take a federal position…

Let This Be a Reminder

Yes, tax cuts can spur growth; but they don’t necessarily.  And no – except in very narrow and special circumstances – they don’t magically pay for themselves.  And let’s try not to forget that President Ron Reagan raised taxes in 1982 after his big 1981 tax cut – at least in part because of the big deficits.


No Higdon in Senate 34

On MOScouter sent me this News Press article in response to the notion that Rep. Galen Hidgon might run in Senate 34… “I wouldn’t go back (to Jefferson City) if they paid me three times the amount,” said state Rep. Galen Higdon, a Republican from St. Joseph who is facing term limits in his current position in the House. “I’m finished with them. All of the lying, the bribery, the threats, all of the big money going into our state is doing nothing but ruining it.”


Money Watch

In the large contributions (below), Jeff Cox gave himself $30K.  He’s presiding commissioner of Cass County right now, but recently started a campaign committee to run for Associate Circuit Judge of Cass County as a Republican.   See the paperwork here.



The Atlantic looks at the notion of suing pharmaceutical companies for the opioid epidemic.  See it here.


UMSL released its exit poll from the St. Louis City primary.  See it here.  Among the interesting nuggets, it showed that 71% of the voters in that primary would support additional taxes for police funding, an idea which has been floated recently by Mayor Lyda Krewson.


Rep. Dan Stacy gets jabbed by Sen. Ryan Silvey over twitter (see it here) for making “accusations of City officials being bought.” Silvey notes that Stacy raised $31,173 for his primary.  $25,000 of that came from the Humphreys family.  And another $2,500 from Missouri Club for Growth.


Help Wanted

Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCADSV) seeks Member Services Specialist. “The primary responsibilities of the position include responding to questions from advocates working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence, problem-solving, representing MCADSV and its membership in public policy-related meetings, writing technical assistance bulletins, and training…”


UnitedHealth Group seeks Vice President, State Government Affairs - Missouri and Oklahoma. “The Vice President, State Government Relations will develop and lead the implementation of strategy, relationship development, public policy engagement and overall business advancement initiatives with key state and local policy makers. This individual will be the primary liaison between the Enterprise and state and local leaders, including the governor and administration, legislators and committee staff, as well as agency officials and external stakeholders. They will work on behalf of External Affairs leaders and in coordination with leaders from across the Enterprise….” See the ad here.


Lobbyists Registrations

Michael James added Waste Connections Inc., Progressive Waste Solutions of MO inc, and Iesi MO Champ Landfill LLC.

Katherine Nielson added American Association of University Women.

Cheri Gibson deleted John Bardgett & Associates, Inc.

Ila Irwin deleted Missouri Health Connection.

Heath Clarkston deleted Americans for Prosperity.


$5K+ Contributions

Vote Jeff Cox - $30,000 from Jeff Cox.



Happy birthdays to former Rep. Trent Skaggs, and Nimrod Chapel.