Find a PDF of the latest Missouri Scout poll here. It was conducted December 2 and 3, with 1,212 likely voters weighted to match expected turnout demographics for the 2018 General Election. The margin of error is +/-2.81%. It’s a baseline poll as we go forward for the next two years. The findings: Auditor Nicole Galloway is largely unknown; Senator Claire McCaskill has a net positive job approval rating (though she’s under 50%); and right to work isn’t as much a priority for Missourians as ethics reform.
The right direction / wrong track is still negative, but it’s better than it’s been in the past. In December 2014 only 21% of Missourians thought we were headed in the right direction. In May 2016 it was only 23%.
Q: Do you believe Missouri is heading in the right direction or is it going off on the wrong track?
Right direction: 35%
Wrong track: 40%
Q: Do you approve or disapprove of Nicole Galloway’s job performance as State Auditor?
Q: Do you approve or disapprove of Claire McCaskill’s job performance as United States Senator?
Q: What should be the top priority for incoming Governor Eric Greitens?
Cleaning up corrupt culture: 25%
Passing Right to Work: 11%
Balancing the budget: 26%
Something else: 20%
State Senate 2018
Folks are positioning themselves for 2018…
Republican Rep. Craig Redmon amended his campaign committee to run for Senate 18. See it here. That’s Brian Munzlinger’s seat. Before Munzy took it in 2010, it was held by Democrat Wes Shoemyer. In the past six years Democrats have increasingly ceded these rural districts to Republicans. We’ll see if a credible Democrat steps up to make this a match in 2018.
And Rep. Mike Bernskoetter amended his campaign committee to run for Senate 6. See it here. That’s Sen. Mike Kehoe’s seat. Rep. Jay Barnes is another Republican state representative who could run for this seat.
Did Dugger Break the Law?
Former Rep. Tony Dugger resigned before the “lobbying wait law” took effect presumably so he could become a lobbyist without adhering to the required wait period. But there are some folks looking at it now and thinking that Dugger actually did break the law because, ironically, he waited too long to register.
Their point is: If he had resigned and registered before the law took effect he would have been okay. But since all he did was resign and he wasn’t registered before the law took effect, he had to abide by the “wait” in the law. By waiting, he ended up breaking the law.
You Make the Call
105.455. 1. No person elected or appointed to the state senate, to the state house of representatives, or to the office of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer, or state auditor who vacates the office, whether by resignation, expulsion, term limitation under article III, section 8 of the Constitution of Missouri, or otherwise, shall act, serve, or register as a lobbyist until six months after the expiration of any term of office for which such person was elected or appointed.
Budget Blues: Fitzy Says Time to Target Medicaid
From the House Newsroom (see it here):
State revenue continues to come in more slowly than legislators and the governor projected when working on the current fiscal year’s budget. Shell Knob Republican Scott Fitzpatrick said that means when Governor-Elect Eric Greitens (R) delivers his budget proposal next month, it could call for little more than covering things the state is mandated to pay.
“The biggest challenge that he’s going to be facing is the increase in Medicaid and other mandatory programs, that basically have to be funded in order to pay the providers that are providing services to the people that are eligible under state law,” said Fitzpatrick.
He said if the legislature does not find a way to stem those costs before Fiscal Year 2018 begins, “I would anticipate seeing cuts to a lot of other programs in order to just pay the bills related to Medicaid.”
Fitzpatrick said under the fiscal circumstances in which Greitens will be taking office, “I think he’s going to be doing well just to be able to get us a budget that balances without relying on unreasonable revenue assumptions, then we’ll take it from there and hopefully make some policy adjustments this session that will allow us to curb some of those costs.”
All this means that Fitzpatrick, as he enters his first year chairing the House Budget Committee, does not expect to make many people happy while playing his role in preparing the Fiscal Year 2018 budget.
“I’ve told everybody who’s come to talk to me about the budget this year that they shouldn’t expect anything good to happen,” said Fitzpatrick. “’Play defense,’ is kind of what I’ve told anybody whose job relies on a state appropriation because it’s going to be a tough year.”
Budget Blues: And This Also
Rudi Keller reports more budget pressure will come from pension costs. See it here.
Pull Quote: The cost of funding state employee pensions will increase almost $50 million in the next fiscal year as investment losses and lower earnings expectations push taxpayer contributions to the highest share of state payroll in the history of the program. The increase will further pinch a state budget suffering from anemic revenue growth and increasing demands from entitlements and other programs with mandatory costs. The extra $28.6 million in general revenue for pensions is a cost that could deepen cuts already under consideration in other programs….
Nixon Make More Appointments
Governor Jay Nixon appointed Carlos A. Haley (R), of Joplin, to the Missouri Southern State University Board of Governors, and Dr. Edward D. Hillhouse (R), of Villa Ridge, to the State
Highways and Transportation Commission.
Does the Senate sink these and Greitens appoints his own, or do they let them stick since they’re Republicans?
MRL Cheers Senate Pre-Files
From the press release: This week Senator Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, filed the Women's Health and Clinic Safety Act. The proposed bill states that no person shall knowingly donate or make an anatomical gift of fetal organs or tissue resulting from an abortion. The bill requires that all fetal organs and tissue removed at the time of abortion be sent to the pathologist for examination while also outlining what the pathologist must include in his or her report regarding the same, and clarifies procedures for how the Department of Health handles these reports. Protections for whistleblowers who report violations of law regarding the handling of fetal organs and yearly on-site inspections of abortion clinics are also required under the act….
Senator Wayne Wallingford and Senator David Sater have also filed pro-life bills strongly supported by Missouri Right to Life. We will be working with Senator Wallingford and Senator Sater to move these bills to final passage:
SB 41 - Relating to Alternatives to Abortion - Wallingford
SB 67 - Relating to Abortion Clinic Inspections - Onder
SB 96 - Relating to a Ban on Sex Selection Abortions - Sater
The State Public Defender Commission meets today at 10AM in the Harry Truman Building. We’ll see if the new members that Governor Jay Nixon appointed have some impact. Nixon and the PubDef topper had a spat earlier in the year.
The ACLU of Missouri has hired Sara Baker as their new legislative and policy director.
See her bio here.
With the December 8 deadline approaching State treasurer-elect Eric Schmitt got into the game of loading in large contributions. He shows $72,000 large in the list today. And Governor-elect Eric Greitens lassos another $85K, putting him well over $400K so far…
MEC has put up FAQ for Amendment 2 here.
$73,260 in Affordable Housing credits to Great Circle in Senate 1 / House 83.
$32,000 in Affordable Housing credits to Doorways in Senate 4 / House 77.
$11,798 in Affordable Housing credits to Hope Haven of Cass County in Senate 31 / House 33.
$8,250 in Affordable Housing credits to Family Violence Center DBA Harmony House in Senate 30 / House 143.
$6,600 in Affordable Housing credits to The H.O.U.S.E. Inc in Senate 32 / House 162.
$3,300 in Affordable Housing credits to St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity Inc in Senate 34 / House 9.
$2,200 in Affordable Housing credits to Phoenix Programs Inc in Senate 19 / House 45.
Missouri Lottery seeks New Business Development Manager
“Starting Salary Range: $55,000 - $65,000 annually… Responsibilities: The Business Development Manager identifies potential new business opportunities and cultivates effective relationships with new lottery retail outlets (traditional and non-traditional) in order to promote the sale of Missouri Lottery products….” See it here.
Missouri Lottery seeks Director of Legal Services
“Perform a wide variety of professional administrative work, including acting as liaison to state agencies and, as needed or directed, to the Legislature, and serve as special projects manager, and perform related work as required. Prepare/review contracts with vendors/agencies working for the Missouri Lottery. Prepare correspondence relating to a variety of issues, including, but not limited to, the preparation of opinions, legislative reports, briefs, other legal documents…”
Jefferson County Government seeks County Counselor. “This position is appointed by the County Executive with advice and consent of the County Council…. $70,000 to $95,000…”
From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar
Sen. Scott Sifton Reception – Bar Napoli – Clayton – 5:30-7 p.m.
Trent Watson added Missouri Insurance Coalition.
Mary Stockmann deleted BJC Home Care Services.
Zoe Krause deleted Reproaction.
Jon Dolan deleted Healthcare Advantage LLC, and Burton & Liese Government Relations.
MADA Dealers Interested in Government - $10,000 frm MADA Services Corporation.
Schmitt for Missouri - $25,000 from Douglas Albrecht.
Greitens for Missouri - $25,000 from Kansas City Power & Light.
Greitens for Missouri - $15,000 from AGC of MO PAC.
Greitens for Missouri - $15,000 from Cheyenne International LLC.
Schmitt for Missouri - $15,000 from MO Majority PAC.
Schmitt for Missouri - $12,000 from Central Bancompany PAC.
Schmitt for Missouri - $10,000 from David Steward.
Schmitt for Missouri - $10,000 from Lathrop & Gage LLP.
Schmitt for Missouri - $10,000 from Roy Pfautch.
Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from Poet LLC.
Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from Corizon INC.
Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from Lathrop & Gage LLP.