Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Dogan to Announce for Assistant Floor

Rep. Shamed Dogan will announce a bid for assistant floor leader. Dogan, a two-term rep from St. Louis County, was recently named Chair of the Local Governments Committee.  He’s championed deregulating some occupational licensing requirements, and has been notable on the floor for being willing to speak his mind on controversial topics.  He unsuccessfully led a Republican effort to amend SB 43 last session.

Assistant floor leader is not one of the top leadership spots, but gets you in the leadership meetings, and is a platform for a higher-profile leadership position in the future.

Others mentioned as interested in the position are: Reps. J Eggleston, Shane Roden, Jered Taylor, and Curtis Trent.

We’ll see how the race actually shakes out.


First in MOScout: Hawley Faces Lawsuit Over Residency Question

Donna Mueller, a Jefferson City resident, has filed a lawsuit to force Attorney General Josh Hawley to establish residence in Jefferson City.  (The Casenet # is 17AC-CC00577).

This legal action follows the controversy that Hawley has stoked by continuing to vote from his Boone County residence despite the constitutional requirement that he reside in Jefferson City.

See an article about that inconsistency here.

What It Means

It’s expected that Hawley will continue to do some lawyerly wriggling, and it won’t look pretty.  It will be double-speak and politiciany.  This is not a killer issue, but it’s hard to build a straight-shooter, outsider image while legalizing over what the definition of “reside” is.


Q&A#1: Is There a Case for More Regulations?

Short answer: Damn right there is.


The Gretiens administration has been fixated on hitting a numeric target of reducing the number of regulations by one third through their NoMoRedTape effort.  However there’s a pro-business, pro-growth argument to be made that the legislature should be boldly creating regulatory frameworks in emerging industries.

At the heart of this contention is the truth that many companies fear regulatory uncertainty more than they fear the regulations themselves.

Furthermore, technological advances have created an economy with new companies disrupting conventional ways of doing business. Companies in these industries need a new regulatory framework or they can be mired by the incumbents which can "weaponize" the old regulatory framework.

In the past several legislative sessions we’ve seen the legislature struggle with these issues.  Sometimes the incumbents have won, and sometimes the emerging companies have prevailed in creating new regulations to safeguard their growth.

Examples include: Tesla challenged by incumbent auto dealerships that they must have physical locations to sell cars; the Uber/Lyft bill to secure riding sharing companies the ability to operate; the FanDuel/DraftKing online fantasy sports companies separating themselves from gambling restrictions.

Truck Time Coming?

With this in mind, perhaps it’s time for Missouri to look around the corner on self-driving vehicles and create a regulatory environment that welcomes the next generation of businesses employing that technology.  NYTimes reports (see it here) that trucking experts expect that self-driving trucks will revolutionize their industry.

Pull Quote: Trucks will someday drive themselves out of warehouses and cruise down freeways without the aid of humans or even a driver’s cab — about that there seems little disagreement. The question is how soon that day gets here.

And while the answers vary — technologists, not surprisingly, are more bullish than truckers — billions of dollars and a growing parade of companies, from tiny start-ups to the country’s biggest trucking operations, are betting it will be here sooner than most people think.

This year, companies and investors are on pace to put just over $1 billion into self-driving and other trucking technologies, 10 times the level of three years ago, according to CB Insights, which tracks the venture capital industry.


Fitzy Previews Budget Blues

Rudi Keller reports on Budget Chair Scott Fitzpatrick’s outlook.  See it here.

Pull Quote: An increase in the standard deduction is the single biggest item that has lawmakers and any program dependent on state dollars worried about the impact of a federal tax overhaul. Missouri law makes the state standard deduction equal to the federal deduction and with 72 percent of filers using the standard deduction instead of itemizing, the potential loss is as much as $1 billion…. “It is going to be difficult to come up with an estimate of revenue with that hanging over our head,” he said. The estimate will also have to account for a 2014 tax cut that lowers state rates when growth targets are met, Fitzpatrick said. The first cut under that law will take effect Jan. 1 and will lower revenue by $90 million in the first six months of the year and by about $150 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1, he said…


New Committees

Tim Brinker formed a candidate committee (Elect Tim Brinker) to run for Presiding Commissioner of Franklin County.

Rita Berry formed a candidate committee (Rita Berry For Mayor) to run for mayor of Kansas City.

Derrick Nowlin formed a candidate committee (Nowlin For The 134Th) to run for House 134 as a Democrat.  The current incumbent is Elijah Haahr.

97th District GOP Committee was formed.  Its treasurer is Christine Hessel.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

Rep. Jean Evans Veterans Salute – Sunset Country Club – St. L – 5:30PM.


$5K+ Contributions

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $10,000 from Dealers Interested in Government.

Find the Cures - $89,000 from Brad Bradshaw.

Southwest Missouri Leadership PAC - $10,000 from Rudolph Farber.



To the family of Beth Marie Wheeler.

From the obituary: Beth spent her life serving people. She worked for the University of Missouri Extension 4-H in several counties, and served two terms on the Missouri House of Representatives before joining the staff of Governor Mel Carnahan. Beth left the political scene and worked at Northwest Missouri State University and then Missouri Western State University as Director of External Relations. Beth retired from MWSU in February of 2012 after working there for 13 years….