Session Opens Today
It’ll be a day of speechifying, and welcome backs before the slow start settles in.
The expectation is that Speaker Todd Richardson signals strong support for ethics reforms. The devil is, of course, in the details.
Budget: State Revenues Dip in December
The press release: Net general revenue collections for December 2015 decreased by 3.6 percent compared to those for December 2014, from $841.1 million to $810.7 million.
That brings the 2016 fiscal year-to-date net general revenue to +2.6%.
Budget: Tax Amnesty $$$ Below Hopes
The press release: Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that the Missouri Department of
Revenue will collect an estimated $35 million from delinquent taxpayers this year under House Bill 384. These funds will allow for the expansion of dental care to approximately 282,000 low-income Missourians in Fiscal Year 2016. In addition, the funds will enable a one percent rate increase for health providers who care for Medicaid beneficiaries, including Missourians with disabilities.
This is money the state wouldn’t otherwise have, and still it’s believe the hope expresses in fiscal notes last session… “a total of $75 million would be collected, including $50 million already identified from DOR investigations completed or in process…”
Yet Another Tobacco Tax Proposal
Yesterday Brad Ketcher filed two initiative petitions with the secretary of state’s office. See them here and here. They would raise the cigarette tax by a smaller amount, and fund a new creation – The Childhood Cancer Treatment and Prevention Fund.
It’s late in the game to be starting the process as the clock is ticking on actual signature collection.
Jami, Dogan Team up on Policing Bill
Sen. Jamilah Nasheed and Rep. Shamed Dogan are doing a bipartisan tag-team on The Fair and Impartial Policing Act. See Dogan’s pre-filed bill here.
The press release: The Act would expand reporting requirements, track pedestrian stops, require training on biased policing, and enact measures to hold Missouri’s law enforcement agencies and officers accountable when they use biased policing practices.
Republican GOP Candidates on Stronger Background Checks
"President Barack Obama once again is subverting the constitutional separation of powers by trying to legislate by executive fiat. He is undermining the Second Amendment of the Constitution and targeting law-abiding gun owners in an ineffective attempt to 'do something' about mass shootings...”
"Once again President Obama doesn't get it. He thinks that taking away your guns will stop criminals. He's wrong. We know that you don't stop criminals by taking away guns from law abiding citizens. The truth is just the opposite. Criminals are stopped by law abiding citizens with guns…”
“Our office holders in Missouri have a constitutional duty to fight against attacks on our inalienable rights. On day one as Governor, I will immediately use every legal means available to defend our constitutional rights, to protect ourselves and our families as guaranteed by our 2nd
Amendment. My administration will send a clear message: Any federal or state laws which infringe on our constitutional right to keep and bear arms will be immediately challenged in court…”
"President Obama's proposed restrictions on firearms owners constitutes an attack on every American's Second Amendment rights. For the past seven years, President Obama has shown a blatant disregard for the U.S. Constitution, and time after time he has violated individual liberties with unconstitutional executive actions. As Governor, my administration will immediately challenge unconstitutional executive actions in court and will work tirelessly to protect individual liberties and keep the federal government out of all Missourians' gun cabinets…”
Sen. Mike Parson announced that his bid for lieutenant governor received the endorsement of Wendell Bailey.
Pro Tem Ron Richard will be the featured speaker at the Show-Me Institute’s Legislative Preview Breakfast next Monday. See it here.
Missouri Ethics Commission dismissed complaints of conflicts of interests against the Town Board of Augusta. See it here.
eMailbag: Reverse Merger
The roles are different enough that the merger was a predictable mistake. You got to be a water person to understand the water patrol… Jay Nixon would do himself a favor if he said the merger was a mistake.
Disclosures in the Age of Twitter
One reader noted that the Humphreys “Accountability Committee” is running promoted tweets attacking Republican representatives for their anti-RTW vote. And the tweets don’t contain a “paid for” disclosure. This particular tweet contained a graphic that could have included the disclosure. But it does raise the question – especially considering the twitterverse’s 140 characters limitation – if the ethics laws need to be updated to account for internet and cyber activity.
Jackson County issues RFP for its federal lobbying. See it here.
From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:
Sen. Bob Onder Birthday Party – The Grand Café – JC – 4:30PM.
Steve Tilley added Uber Technologies Inc.
Josh Schisler added Missourians For Alternatives To The Death Penalty, Missouri Conservatives Concerned About The Dealth Penalty, and The Abigail Alliance For Better Access To Developmental Drugs
Michael Winter added Missouri School Boards Association and Heartland Credit Union Association.
Noel Torpey added Rath Consulting LLC.
Joel Kurzman added Joel Kurzman.
A John Baker added Caesars Enterprise Services LLC.
Olga Gutierrez added Apple Inc.
Ashley McDonald added Missouri Farm Bureau.
Rodney Gray, Tami Holliday, and Susan Henderson Moore added Missouri Health Connection.
My scraper had about seven pages of lobbyist-client deletions this morning. And I’m pretty sure this is caused by folks missing the Missouri Ethics Commission’s “Lobbyist Registration Renewal. Renewal period from Dec 1, 2015 to Jan 5, 2016 for calendar year 2016.” So it may take a day or two to sort out as people get their paperwork filed and are added back into the system.
Democratic Governors Association Missouri - $30,000 from Democratic Governors Association.
Happy birthdays to Sen. Bob Onder, Reps. Rob Vescovo and Genise Montecillo, former Rep. Mike Daus, Stacy Morse, and Geoff Gerling.