Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Capitol Security Coming?

Word is that the capitol building will be undergoing a security upgrade this legislative session.  It won’t be implemented right away, but probably sometime in January.  It’s said to include the use of metal detectors at doors.  IDs will be issued. And the number of entrances may be restricted.

This is not in response to any incident in particular and plans for enhanced security have been under consideration for some time.

We’ll see….


Greitens Against Stadium

Governor-elect Eric Greitens issued a statement yesterday blasting the plans of the Missouri Development Finance Board to issue tax credits for a new soccer stadium in St. Louis.  The MDFB will meet today.

The statement was campaign-style rhetoric.  At some point, one assumes Greitens will pivot to sounding like a governor instead of a candidate.  The “reckless career politicians” are his term-limited super-majority fellow Republicans.  Governors find ways to oppose items without throwing their allies under the bus.

“I’m opposed to spending taxpayer money to build a soccer stadium in St. Louis. This project is nothing more than welfare for millionaires. Right now, because of reckless spending by career politicians, we can't even afford the core functions of government, let alone spend millions on soccer stadiums.  This back-room wheeling and dealing is exactly what frustrates Missourians. This type of politics as usual is coming to an end.”

Governor Jay Nixon fired back on Twitter… I don’t consider a transparent process that involves 3 public votes, including 1 by St. Louis voters, to be ‘backroom wheeling and dealing.’

Greitens doesn’t have any formal power to stop the MDFB.


Alferman Gets Budget Vice-Chair

Press release: As vice chair of the Budget Committee, [Justin] Alferman will work with state Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, who serves as chair of the committee, to oversee the appropriations process in the House. Alferman and Fitzpatrick will work with the various appropriations committee chairs to craft a fiscally responsible spending plan. Once the budget bills have received House approval and moved to the Missouri Senate, Fitzpatrick and Alferman will work together as lead negotiators to maintain the budget priorities of House members.


Chipman Caucus Secretary

Rep. Jason Chipman was elected Republican House Caucus Secretary.  The position itself is nothing special but it puts him in the room for leadership meetings, and on track for higher leadership positions in the future.


New House Rules Coming

Speaker Todd Richardson is preparing to put his stamp on the House.  It looks as if new rules will be approved for the lower chamber which will make some significant changes.

First, there will be an effort to organize the House committees into “flights” with one group meeting on Monday and Wednesday, and the other meeting on Tuesday and Thursday.  This will eliminate some of the chaotic scheduling.  Each flight will have its own Rules Committee to which it will report.

Second, the number of committees will likely shrink.  But they will create sub-committees focused on specific issues which will hold hearing, take testimony, issue reports.  But only the committees will work on bills.

Third, look for the appropriations committees to shrink as well from the current seven committees down to five.  And the Budget committee will be made of members from the appropriations committees.

Finally, the plan is to have Fiscal Oversight take on a stronger role by watching closely the fiscal notes and instilling discipline that price-tags on bills don’t exceed what the budget projections can afford.

More on this as details emerge…


Follow Up on Border War

One Moscout reader sent me this recent article from the Kansas City Business Journal in response to my piece yesterday about workforce readiness being as – or more – important than tax policy when it comes to luring businesses.  See it here.

Pull Quote:  A Kansas City economic development coup announced by the Kansas City Business Journal a month ago was officially announced on Wednesday by the Kansas City Area Development Council.  In a release, the KCADC confirmed that CVS Pharmacy, the nation's leading retail pharmacy chain, will build a 762,000-square-foot distribution center at the Skyport Industrial Park near the Kansas City International Airport. The new facility is expected to create more than 360 new jobs, as well as up to 100 additional jobs that will be outsourced to local businesses… Local incentives were approved for the $110 million project by Port KC, which granted CVS a 90 percent real property tax exemption for 12 years, followed by a 50 percent exemption for 10 years. CVS also received a 10-year personal property tax exemption on equipment from the port authority.

Amy Susan, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Economic Development, said no state incentives were granted for the CVS project, which was referred to by the code name "Project Toto" prior to Kansas City winning the competition for the facility. But Susan said that MDED will be helping CVS with workforce recruitment….

eMailbag: Border War

Interesting take on tax and labor policy.  We have a worker shortage, so to solve that the top priority is to pass legislation that is designed to LOWER wages (RTW), thus making Missouri even less attractive to workers that our companies need.


Talent: Charter School Expansion “Easy Lift”

Show-Me Institute gets a shout-out in the Wall Street Journal.  See it here.

Pull Quote: State think tanks are still relatively new, founded in earnest beginning in the late 1980s. But the network has sprawled since then, from 26 groups in 1991, to 54 in 2008, to 65 today with four more in the works. Combined revenues hit $80 million two years ago, and total staff has nearly doubled in the past six years to 525… Missouri : A new Republican governor, Eric Greitens, will replace term-limited Democrat Jay Nixon. “I think that we’re going to see bills that have been vetoed in the past, like right to work, go through quickly,” says Brenda Talent, the CEO of the Show-Me Institute. Last year the Republican House tried to override Gov. Nixon’s right-to-work veto but fell short by 13 votes.

Expanding charter schools, Ms. Talent predicts, will be an “easy lift,” and tackling corporate welfare is a possibility. “To give you an idea of the magnitude of the problem,” she says, “you could eliminate the corporate income tax in the state simply by eliminating economic development tax credits.”


Auditor Action

Press release: Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has released a follow up report on the Pine Lawn municipal court, located in St. Louis County. The review was conducted after a June audit raised concerns with widespread mismanagement throughout court operations. The follow-up report found little progress has been made in many areas, and the city has not paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the state for exceeding state limits on the percentage of revenue it kept from fines associated with traffic violations…. The previous report found city personnel miscalculated the amount owed to the state for excess revenues generated from traffic violations. Based on auditors' calculations the city generated 46 percent of its general operating revenue from traffic violations and  likely owed more than $400,000 to the Department of Revenue under the law that was in effect at the time. That money has not been paid, and city

officials do not appear to have any plans to do so… Of ten areas reviewed for the follow up report, only one had been implemented.

See the audit here.



Department of Corrections latest bid for cookies shows how much food our system goes through… Central Region Commodity Warehouse estimates 400,000 packages per three (3) month period. Eastern Region Commodity Warehouse estimates 200,000 packages per three (3) month period…


According to LinkedIn, Aaron Willard and Todd Abrajano are both a part of the Presidential Inauguration Committee.


A new proposed initiative petition (see it here) would allow “death with dignity,” giving individuals the right to end their life, and not criminalizing those who help.


Press release: In a specially called meeting today of the Missouri Mental Health Commission, members confirmed their support for the decision of the Board of Public Buildings to name the new psychiatric facility on the Fulton State Hospital campus the Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon Forensic Center.  The Commission passed a formal resolution in favor of the naming.


Rep. Jean Evans’ HB 270 would raise the age to marry from 15 to 17.  See it here.  (I was 31 when I married; but in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is 13.)


Help Wanted

Missouri Children’s Leadership Council (MOCLC) seeks Executive Director. “The Missouri Children’s Leadership Council (MOCLC) is looking for an energetic, experienced, forward thinking leader who has a strong commitment to assuring that public policy promotes creates opportunities for all Missouri children, enabling them to achieve their full potential.”

See it here.


King Passes

John King, an attorney with Lathrop and Gage, died over the weekend.  See the Post-Dispatch obituary here.

Pull Quote:  At the time of his death, he was a Republican commissioner on the St. Louis County Board of Elections, but he made his biggest impact as an attorney for developers. Car washes. Gas stations. Apartment buildings. The Galleria. King guided scores of projects, both large and small, through zoning commissions and city councils. 

In a 2005 interview, King said his father taught him how to compromise. R.J. “Bus” King was a nine-term state representative who made an unsuccessful bid for governor in 1972, losing the Republican primary to Christopher S. “Kit” Bond.


New Tax Credits

$172,198 in Neighborhood Assistance Program credits to Coyote Hill Christian Children’s Home in Senate 19 / House 47.

$90,344 in Neighborhood Assistance Program credits to The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri Inc. in Senate 19 / House 45.$16,850 in Neighborhood Assistance Program credits to Boys & Girls Club of Springfield in Senate 30 / House 135.

$45,500 in Neighborhood Assistance Program credits to Harvesters The Community Food Network in Senate 9 / House 22.

$38,143 in Neighborhood Assistance Program credits to Healing Horses Therapeutic Riding Program in Senate 6 / House 61.

$8,742 in Neighborhood Assistance Program credits to St. Louis Crisis Nursery in Senate 24 / House 71.

$7,786 in Neighborhood Assistance Program credits to Peter & Paul Community Services Inc in Senate 5 / House 78.

$250 in Neighborhood Assistance Program credits to Southeast Missouri Food Bank in Senate 27 / House 148.

New Committees

Kevin O’Neill for City Council Kansas City Missouri.


Building Strong Futures Committee, a campaign committee, in support of Sedalia’s Proposition A on the ballot in April which would issue General Obligation Bond for the State Fair Community College District. The treasurer is John Meehan.


Lobbyists Registrations

Sarah Juergensmeyer added Southwestern Bell Telephone Co, Argosy Casino KC, MO Pork Assn., Heartland Health, US Term Limits, BJC Health Care Systems, Health Management Systems, MOSAIC Life Care, MO Ambulance Assn., MO Propane Gas Assn., Hollywood Casino, Port Authority of KC, Amgen, Penn National Gaming, MO Speech-language-hearing Assn, Ameren Missouri, Connections Academy, Gateway Group, Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, MO Disaster Response System Inc, Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association, and Brent Hemphill & Associates.

Harry Hill added MO Corrections Officers Assn.

Matt Younger added Missouri Primary Care Association.

Jay Benton added Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys.

John Clark added Act Inc.

Margaret Brueggemann added Missouri National Education Association.

Alex Scharf added Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri.


$5K+ Contributions

Early Childhood Education Initiative - $76,494 from RAI Services Company.

Democratic Governors Association Missouri - $20,000 from Democratic Governors Association.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Missourians for Mike Cierpiot.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $7,500 from Cheyenne International LLC.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Bart Korman, Ellen Sherberg, Bob Jacobi, Melissa DeStefano Furey, Dan Bryar (the big 3-0), and Ben Murray.