Thursday, December 15, 2016

McCaskill Hearts MCADSV

The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence got a pleasant holiday surprise on Wednesday: U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill sent a personal $10,000 check to the statewide organization, which helped nearly 50,000 women and children last year. McCaskill, a leader in Washington against human sex trafficking, has been a strong supporter of the work of the coalition dating to her days as a state representative and Jackson County prosecuting attorney. The MCADSV Board of Directors was told of McCaskill's unrestricted gift during its year-end meeting in Jefferson City on Wednesday. McCaskill sought no attention for the gift, but the MCADSV board publicly noted the senator's personal generosity with a thank-you letter.

 

Consensus Revenue Number

In recent years there’s been a tug-of-war between the governor’s office and the legislature in agreeing to a “consensus revenue number” from which to base the state budget.

In general the governor’s office has sought a higher forecast while the legislature has offered lower numbers.

The second floor wants a higher number because they can then withhold funds as revenues fall short of the forecast number.  The withholds then allow the governor to prioritize the budget, taking money from those areas he’s less excited about, and fully funding what he considers important.

The legislature wants a lower number so the governor doesn’t have cause to withhold, and they retain the power of the purse with their priorities all be funded.

Last year Nixon’s growth estimate was 5.5%; House Budget Chair Tom Flanigan wanted 3.1%; and the real number came in at 2.6%.

With Republicans holding the governor’s mansion again, will these games dissolve into a hand-holding governing lovefest?  Or will the institutional tensions remain?

 

Workers Bracing for Changes

Folks are expecting to start hearing department head names in the coming days from the Greitens Transition Team.  It’ll take some time for them to sort out their staffing.  One current employee writes “Nixon staffers in departments should expect their fate after Christmas….”

And

Word is that Insurance Department Director John Huff submitted his resignation yesterday.  One veteran says there’s no routine process for departments heads in a transition process: “Some will resign; some won’t; and there will be a couple who will fight like heck to stay on…”

 

Tobacco Stand Still

Yesterday Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids released their state-by-state look at the impact of the 1998 tobacco settlement.  See it here.

Their state ranking by the “Percent of CDC-Recommended Funding Levels” shows Missouri ranking 49th.

If Amendment 3 had passed it would have given Missouri the potential to be in the top 10 by year 4. But like others, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids thought nothing was better than something. So here we are again…

And

Governing Magazine looks are voters approving tax hikes for children’s services, using Jackson County as a prime example.  See it here.

Pull Quote: In Jackson County, Mo., a budget shortfall of $180 million was preventing county commissioners from increasing spending on mental health and addiction treatment for teenagers. So advocates went to the voters for an increase of one-eighth of one cent on the county sales tax to generate about $15 million in annual revenue for its existing children's fund. It passed with 58 percent of the vote.

Republican women were critical to the ballot measure’s success. Earlier in the year, internal polling showed that only about 48 percent of likely voters supported the measure, said Todd Patterson, a consultant who helped with the Jackson County campaign. After the campaign targeted female Trump supporters with children, they found their bipartisan majority. Patterson called them “free-style Evangelicals,” shorthand for religious conservatives who still support public programs that benefit children’s health and well-being… Only two states, Florida and Missouri, have laws explicitly allowing counties to create a dedicated tax fund for children's services. Since 2004, eight Missouri counties have created such funds. Eight counties in Florida also have children’s funds, though those have the distinction of being run as special tax districts.

 

Rex Eying KC Police Dept?

KCStar reports that Rex Sinquefield is behind a new initiative petition seeking to alter the governance of the Kansas City police force.  See it here.

Pull Quote: The proposed petition — now open for public comment — would prohibit the city from firing any officers if it takes control and require a “separate division” for police oversight. It also sets up a transition mechanism for transferring responsibilities from the five-member police board to locally elected control.  Police Department leadership is expected to resist local control if the petition makes it to the 2018 ballot.

 

Impact from Yahoo Hack?

In light of the news of the cyber hack at Yahoo of approximately 1 billion user accounts, one MOScout reader points out that Sen. Ed Emery’s SB190, The Missouri Economic Development and Infrastructure Investment Act specifically includes provisions (page 15 of the bill) to expedite a Missouri electric utility's ability to invest in cyber security to protect the grid and consumer data.

“The bill takes a forward thinking approach addressing the need to guard against cyber criminals while preserving affordable and low rates.  Other industries should take similar steps to keep consumer information safe…”

 

DOC Bid Starts Potential Tech Upgrade

Looks like the Department of Corrections is bidding out a technology upgrade.  From the bid document:

DOC is in the process of replacing the current Offender Management System (OPII). It is moving away from applications that were created using RPG and Plex programming. The new Offender Management system is a web-based (JAVA) application called MOCIS. It has an entirely new DB2 database. In the past, the MOCIS application has seen severe performance problems when various functional units and modules of the application were made available within the application via security settings. The eventual goal is to retire the OPII system and then the iSeries entirely, so the functionality of each additional module is important. Most recently, the activation of the Healthcare module resulted in unacceptable performance levels that spread across the entire application. The Healthcare module was subsequently restricted to women’s institutions only, while the men’s institutions reverted to the legacy MARS system. It has not yet returned to full service…

 

No Fast Track for Teitelman Seat

The Appellate Judicial Commission announced that it is accepting applications for judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri to fill the vacancy created by the death of Judge Richard Teitelman.

“Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, February 3, 2017… The commission expects to meet Monday and Tuesday, February 27 and 28… to interview applicants and select a panel of three nominees for the governor’s consideration…”

So there’s clearly no fast track happening to give Governor Jay Nixon one last appointment.  Governor-elect Eric Greitens will pick from one of the three panelists the commission presents him with.

 

Bits

A former KCStar employee looks at the recent scoop by former KCStar reporter, Karen Dillon, and how the KCStar has responded.  See it here.

 

According to the Senate website, Jefonte Nelson has been added to the staff of Jamilah Nasheed.

 

Help Wanted

The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement seeks Marketing & Communications Manager. “This position leads the development and implementation of a comprehensive communications strategy to engage internal and external audiences. Responsibilities include acquiring, creating, and delivering content in traditional and innovative ways across multiple channels, in support of the institute’s far-reaching and emergent strategic plan…”  See it here.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Tom Dempsey added Gate Way Group.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Ric Telhorst.