Friday, December 19, 2014

Crancer to Leave StudentsFirst

Kit Crancer is leaving his post as state director for StudentsFirst.  He’s heading to the Quality Institute of the Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI) where he’ll be the Director of State Legislative Policy.  The new gig for Crancer – former Senate staffer – will broaden his geographic responsibilities beyond Missouri, take him into a new policy area, and involve a relocation that will bring him closer to his family.

For StudentsFirst, Crancer’s departure comes at bit of a fork in the road.  Recently the group’s founder Michelle Rhee stepped down, creating some uncertainty about the national organization’s future plans.  Yet in Missouri, last session showed a legislature that was seemingly more receptive than ever to some of their policy positions.


Koster Sues Munis

Attorney General Chris Koster sued thirteen St. Louis County municipalities alleging that they were violating state law.  See the Post-Dispatch article hereSee the lawsuit here.  And Mayor Francis Slay announced a new policy that will allow St. Louis Municipal Courts to consider someone’s ability to pay when setting fines.  See it here.


Schweich Highlights Other Muni Court Problems

In an audit released yesterday (see it here), it seems that St. Louis County isn’t the only place where the courts are a problem.  The City of West Plains received a tepid “Fair” rating from Auditor Tom Schweich’s crew, and noted among other problems: “The court administrators could not locate 20 manual case files requested during the audit… The municipal division has not provided a report of traffic violation tickets and associated fines and court costs revenues to the city for inclusion in the calculation and reporting required in the city's annual financial report filed with the State Auditor's office. The city's fiscal year end March 31, 2014, financial report did not provide an accounting of the percent of annual general operating revenue from fines and court costs related to traffic violations as required by Section 302.341.2, RSMo.”


Kander Goes Small Government

The press release: Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander announced that in his Fiscal Year 2016 budget, he is asking for the smallest amount of general revenue any secretary of state has requested for the office’s operating budget since Fiscal Year 1999...

Kander has been able to reduce his budget by making his office more efficient by cutting spending and non-essential positions, along with shifting the burden of some of his office’s costs off of Missouri tax dollars and onto previously existing special funds. For example, by making a business registration reminder that goes out to all Missouri small business owners half the physical size it had been previously, Kander’s office was able to save taxpayers over $20,000 a year.

Kander’s average general revenue core budget request since he took office is 9.1 percent lower than former Governor and Secretary of State Matt Blunt’s average general revenue core budget request, and 5.4 percent lower than former Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s average request.


Dooley Hits Back

Out-going St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley threw a few punches on his way out the door yesterday.  On St. Louis Public Radio he angrily denounces the campaign tactics of Steve Stenger and Bob McCulloch that led to his defeat, and says the media and his race were contributing factors.  Listen to it here.


Legacki Tips

I’d missed this when it ran last week.  It’s an article from Campaigns & Elections featuring quotes from McCaskill’s Caitlin Legacki.  She talks about the “fundamentals” of running a press operation, including judicious use of press releases and the impact of letters to the editor.  See it here.


Packnett Appointed to Obama’s Police Task Force

Missourian Brittany Packnett was appointed to the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.  Here’s her bio from the White House press release: Brittany Packnett is currently Executive Director of Teach For America in St. Louis, Missouri, a position she has held since 2012.  From 2010 to 2012, she was a director on the Government Affairs Team at Teach For America.  Ms. Packnett was a Legislative Assistant for the United States House of Representatives from 2009 to 2010.  From 2007 to 2009, she was a third grade teacher in Southeast Washington, D.C., as a member of the Teach For America Corps.  Ms. Packnett has volunteered as Executive Director of Dream Girls DMV, a mentoring program for young girls, and was the founding co-chair of The Collective-DC, a regional organization for Teach For

America alumni of color.  She currently serves on the boards of New City School, the COCA Associate Board, the Urban League of Metro St. Louis Education Committee, and the John Burroughs School Board Diversity Committee.  Ms. Packnett received a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.A. from American University.


eMailbag: on the Monsees Medicaid Email

“I bet David Hale is laughing the hardest out of anybody right now. That email makes Medicaid expansion a 2017 issue now. Not to mention completely ruining any effort to brand it as something other than Medicaid expansion.”


Events Calendar

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Sen. Kurt Schaefer Braggin Rights Game Mizzou vs Illinois – Scottrade Center, St. Louis – 1 p.m.


Lobbyist Registrations

Harry Gallagher, Kimberly Akin, Heath Clarkston added Mainstreet Advocates on Behalf of Intuit.

Scott Mills added Allergan Inc.

Dwayne Fulk deleted Suddenlink Communications.


$5K+ Contributions

A Better Missouri With Governor Jay Nixon - $10,000 from AT&T.

MO Society of Anesthesiologists Political Action Committee - $10,000 from South County Anesthesia LTD.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to Tim Tucker (57), Megan Browning, and Greg Porter.

Saturday: St. Louis Business Journal publisher Ellen Sherberg, Rep. Bart Korman (39), Bob Jacobi (56), Dan Bryar (27), and Melissa DeStefano Furey.

Sunday: The peerless John Combest, and Rep. Andrew Koenig (32).