Friday, April 17, 2015

Budget Mess

The legislature’s attempt to fast track the budget to the governor has been slowed by several factors.  Many building denizens have questioned the wisdom of making speed the priority this year.

Speaker John Diehl is said to have inserted a heavy micro-managing hand usurping House Budget Chair Tom Flanigan as the chief negotiator in the process.  And yesterday Senate Pro Tem Tom Dempsey and Floor Leader Ron Richard withdrew their support from one piece of Senate Appropriations Chair Kurt Schaefer’s proposal.  (See it here.)

Some think that the emphasis on getting the budget to the second floor fast has led to strategic errors.

The first was the lump sum budgeting which would likely have enlarged the Governor Jay Nixon’s power over the budget.  In this scenario he could have funded discretionary programs that he wanted from the lump sum, while forcing the legislature to fund mandatory programs in a supplemental budget.

The second is with the move to managed care.  One observer thinks that the legislature again may be inadvertently empowering the governor’s office.  Because any new managed care contract would have to be bid out, it gives the governor some flexibility depending on his desire to implement a change.  The governor’s office could drag out the contract process beyond the time frame covered by the budget, pushing the issue into next year’s budget.  Or he could tighten the bidding timeline and implement it.


Marchand to Hamilton Place

From Politico’s Influence: “Amber Marchand, communications director for Sen. Roy Blunt, is joining Hamilton Place Strategies as a managing director. Marchand previously served as the national press secretary for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and deputy national press secretary for the Republican National Committee.”


Business Journals

St. Louis Business Journal cover story today: “Real estate roulette: Where will Paul McKee land?”  See it here.

The lede: Developer Paul McKee allegedly owes more than $17 million on loans tied to his massive effort to remake 1,500 acres just north of downtown.  The related lawsuit, filed last week, threatens to put hundreds of NorthSide Regeneration properties into receivership, complicating plans for the long-stalled development and its quest to lure the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new $1.6 billion headquarters.


And Kansas City Business Journal lists their Power 100.  It includes former Senate Pro Tem Charlie Shields.



St. Louis Alderman Antonio French was fined $45 by the Missouri Ethics Commission for a failure to file a “direct expenditure” report.  See it here.


Team Greitens announced former state senator John Lamping as the chair of their exploratory committee.


At the midway point in this important tax month, the state revenue looks pretty solid. Although the daily figures can be very volatile, so far for the month receipts are up 14% versus last year.


Lobbyist Registrations

John Cozad and Ward Cook added Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.


$5K+ Contributions

One Springfield - $7,100 from The Creative Foundry.



Happy birthdays to Sen. Ryan Silvey (39), Rep. Sue Allen, MO Primary Care’s Joe Pierle, and Vivian Murphy (62).

Saturday: Reps. Mike Colona (46) and Nate Walker (63), Public Radio’s Maria Altman, Amanda Prouty, St. Louis Region Chamber’s Charlie Hinderliter, Humane Scociety’s Amanda Good (36), and Lori Becker.

Sunday: Former Sen. Bill Stouffer (68), and former Reps. Bert Atkins (60), Jean Peters Baker and Sylvester Taylor (49.)