Friday, September 23, 2016

Big Ameren Infrastructure Plan Coming?

It’s rumored that later today Ameren Missouri will file a $1B smart grid modernization plan with Missouri regulators. This type of investment would create more than 3,200 direct and indirect jobs. It would also serve to support Missouri's existing businesses and potentially attract new business to Missouri. This is because modernizing the electric system would allow for more end user options, and deploy smart grid technologies to prevent outages or restore power more quickly should the lights go out.

If filed, a plan like this would likely require legislation in order to update Missouri's 1913 regulatory structure. If a template like last year's legislation is used, it would cap require that energy costs making costs stable and predictable, another benefit for Missourians.

With polling showing that jobs are the #1 priority for Missourians, this might find some receptivity among the legislature.


MO Mulling a MIDTC?

Among the items open for bid right now is a “Missouri Infectious Disease Treatment Center (MIDTC) feasibility evaluation”

From the background information in the RFP… “Over the past three years, Missouri has averaged ninety (90) active TB disease cases each year...  DHSS has had preliminary discussions with state health departments of bordering states, all of which indicated an interest in being able to send TB patients to a regional treatment center in Missouri if one were to be built… In addition to treating TB patients, a Missouri Infectious Disease Treatment Center (MIDTC) would serve as a centralized facility with the capacity to quarantine, isolate, and effectively provide care to patients with emerging or novel infectious disease in a manner that limits the risk of transmission to healthcare providers and the community at large.

The 2014 West African Ebola outbreak elevated public concern over emerging infectious diseases.  Hospitals that provided care to Ebola patients reported costs ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 per day.  In addition to high costs incurred for treatment of an Ebola patient, these facilities lost revenue from canceled elective surgeries and patients who altered routine care to avoid the facility…”


Amendment 4 Campaign Rolls On

Missourians for Fair Taxation starts its 45-day countdown to Election Day with rallies across the state, promoting Amendment 4, The Taxpayer Protection Amendment, to protect Missourians from a new sales tax on services. The 20,000-member Missouri Realtors launched the Amendment 4 campaign, and on Thursday in Jefferson City, the boosters began rolling out members of the statewide coalition. First up: the 8,500-member National Federation of Independent Business, with NFIB State Director Brad Jones donning a Yes On 4 t-shirt.

A summit of Joplin business leaders for Amendment 4 drew more than 100 to a Thursday

luncheon. And signs boosting Amendment 4 went up at perhaps the most popular political campaigning stop in Joplin/Webb City, Granny Shaffer's chicken house, where owner Mike Wiggins is a strong backer. Stacks of Amendment 4 brochures are available at the cash register and servers are wearing Amendment 4 buttons.

Next Wednesday, the Amendment 4 campaign shifts to the opposite end of Missouri with a big rally in Hannibal and dozens of smaller meetings with community and business leaders. Meanwhile, Martina Johnson, governmental affairs director for the St. Louis Association, weighed in with a cute Amendment 4 endorsement.

And, there is a new campaign video, with real Missourians making the case to vote Yes on 4.  See it here.


Supreme Court Muni Rules

Post-Dispatch reports on the Missouri Supreme Court newly-issued “minimum standards for municipal courts, a long-awaited response to charges that municipal courts in the St. Louis area are unconstitutional debtors’ prisons that routinely violate the rights of the poor.”  See it here.

Pull Quote: [T]he high court established a requirement for municipal courts to have a judge on duty at all times to rule on warrants and bail, and to offer alternative sentences for people who are too poor to pay fines. They set some standards for transparency, too. Under the new rules, courts must have a clerk on duty for at least 30 hours a week. They must at least be pursuing court automation to allow payments online and make available free online access to information about pending cases, outstanding warrants and scheduled dockets…. But the standards stopped far short of what many critics wanted, including forcing some of the county’s 80 courts to consolidate… And the high court’s standards lacked any penalties for failure to comply…


Jeff Mazur on Peter Kinder

LaunchCoder Jeff Mazur reflects on the career of Peter Kinder and the state of Missouri politics. See it here.

Pull Quote: Kinder’s exit is the symbol of a sad transition from statewide candidates defined by their longevity and familiarity to those most notable for their novelty, ambition, and access to money. We are worse for the change.

What Peter Kinder had in politics he earned with hard work over a long period of time... [H]is were campaigns built on old school politicking rather than the overfunded, death-from-above adfests that are the state of the art in statewide politics. People who know will tell you Peter Kinder has a relationship with everyone who’s anyone in Missouri GOP politics…

Beyond having little experience and access to lots of campaign cash, the new model statewide candidate has ambition on a scale and with an expected velocity that are unprecedented in Missouri. GOP newcomer Eric Greitens is running for office for the first time, and it’s for Governor….


U-Gas Sold

St. Louis Business Journal reports: Cuba, Missouri-based Wallis Cos. is set to close next week on its acquisition of Fenton-based U-Gas Holdings Inc., whose assets include the U-Gas and Dirt Cheap convenience stores. Wallis, which operates 34 convenience stores and supplies 167 dealer locations, signed a definitive agreement earlier this summer to acquire the 19 U-Gas locations and 14 Dirt Cheap branded convenience stores.

U-Gas lobbyists are: LeRoy Grant, Jr., Joseph Thompson, and Andy Arnold.



Kansas budget blues continue. “According to the State General Fund Profile released by the Kansas Legislative Research Department, dated Sept. 21, an end balance of $5 million represents 0.1 percent of all expenditures. By law, Kansas is supposed to have an end balance of 7 percent. Tax collections missed estimates by $14.3 million in July, and $10.5 million in August. Figures for September will be released in October 1…”  See it here.


The Senate Leadership Fund has made radio buys in addition to their TV buys.


One MOScout reader see more than right to work behind the $500K check from David Humphreys to Eric Greitens.  He thinks that Greitens has signed onto Humphreys’ view on changing the Missouri Court Plan.  And with or without Governor Gretiens we could see another effort to change the plan in 2018.  We’ll see…..


Over the past few weeks we’ve seen large contributions from LIUNA to Democratic candidates.  They’ve totaled about $150K.  LIUNA is Laborers’ International Union of North America.  See their website here.


St. Louis Business Journal reports that the presence of the new IKEA store in St. Louis can be seen in state revenue totals.  See it here“The Swedish retailer’s 63110 ZIP code saw a 40 percent spike in state sales tax revenue from October 2015 through June 2016 compared with the prior-year period, according to the latest available data from the Missouri Department of Revenue. The period with Ikea generated $277 million in state sales tax revenue versus $197 million in the prior-year period without Ikea.”


eMailbag on Kander Blindfold Ad

That ad in no way depresses Kander's anti-gun support and since it went national, my bet is it raised a bunch of money for him. Win-win.


New Committees

Michael Lewis filed a committee to run as a Libertarian in Senate 4 (Keaveny’s seat).  See it here.


Help Wanted

MO GOP seeks Field Captain. “Have you ever wanted to work in politics? Are you looking to make a difference in the 2016 Election? A Victory Field Captain position with the Missouri Republican Party’s Victory Brigade may be for you…. This is a part time position. A Victory Field Captain will earn $10 an hour for a mandatory 25 hours per week (not to exceed 25 hours per week). There will also be paid incentives for those who exceed goals….”  See it here.


City of Columbia seeks Municipal Judge.  “The City of Columbia is seeking an individual to perform the duties of the Presiding Judge of the Municipal Division for the City of Columbia, Missouri for the 13th Judicial Circuit. The position is appointed by the Columbia City Council to a four year term…” See it here.


Today’s Events

Powered by Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Saturday – Missouri Democratic Field Office Opening – 2626 Cherokee – St. Louis – 12:30PM.

Sunday – Hillary for America - Kansas City office Opening – 1901 McGee – Kansas City – 2PM.


Changes in Lobbyist Registrations

Harry Hill deleted Missouri Corrections Officers Association.


$5K+ Contributions

Ashcroft for Missouri - $35,000 from CNS Corporation.

Ashcroft for Missouri - $100,000 from David Humphreys.

Friends of Todd Richardson - $10,000 from Integrity Home Care.

Koster for Missouri - $15,000 from AGC of Missouri PAC.

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $50,000 from Scott Sifton for Missouri.

MO Republican Party - $100,000 from House Republican Campaign Committee Inc.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $10,000 from Western Oil Inc.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $10,000 from Ayers Oil Co.

Greitens for Missouri - $100,000 from Carolyn Gold.

Greitens for Missouri - $100,000 from John Hauck.

Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from Steven Hauck.

Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from Ellen Hauck.

Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from Kathleen Alexander.

Greitens for Missouri - $100,000 from BET Trust.

Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from David OReilly.

Greitens for Missouri - $5,001 from Cory Ball.

Greitens for Missouri - $5,001 from John Prentis.

Berg for Change - $20,000 from LIUNA Local 110 PAC Fund.

Returning Government to the People - $70,000 from Fred Sauer.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Benjamin Schmickle.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Edelman and Thompson LLC.

Teresa Hensley for Missouri - $10,000 from Electrical Workers Voluntary Political.



Happy birthdays (Saturday) to Kevin Wilson, and Terry Witte.

Sunday: Rep. Bryan Spencer, Jeff Roe, Katie Reichard, Gordon Reel, and Mark Schwartz.