Rumorville: Pierson for LG?
Here comes a new Dem name for LG…. Rep. Tommie Pierson.
A timeline for a Pierson decision is unclear. But his entrance would create another primary for Dems. The only declared Democratic name so far is Brad Bradshaw. Bradshaw’s been self-funding and showing good checks for the past month, and on fundraising prowess would be the favorite in the primary.
However, Dem leaders would likely be intrigued by the possibility of having an African American on the statewide slate to bolster that key voting constituency in the 2016 elections.
It’s expected that Speaker Todd Richardson will maintain the Select Committee structure implemented by John Diehl. Likewise, the betting money thinks that he will keep the chairmen and women in place.
But there is the case to be made that Richardson should move decisively now, reshape any committees to suit his style and agenda, and install three-year chairmen or women where that would make his three-year tenure more effective.
The Minority Opinion on Transportation Funding
In Jefferson City the issue of adequate funding for MODoT has centered on questions of what’s politically possible. The cultivated hatred of anything to do with raising taxes has created a situation where solutions are difficult to come by. Lawmakers are banging their heads trying to figure a way to fund essential transportation infrastructure.
But here’s another view… maybe it’s not as essential as everyone imagines… is there an transportation-industrial-complex at work?
Pull Quote: The gospel according to Charles Marohn is simple enough to put into a few words: We have built too many highways. We have built them in places that didn’t need them. We have built them in places that can’t afford to maintain them. That’s why the federal Transportation Trust Fund is going broke. And if Congress approves a new transportation bill under the old rules, we’ll just build more unneeded roads and force the communities that host them into a further cycle of debt.
Marohn isn’t against spending federal dollars to repair the infrastructure we have. He’s against handing more money over to transportation planners who will always be able to find an excuse to build something new. “The present system is overbuilt and is going to contract,” Marohn recently wrote. “We have so much transportation infrastructure that every level of government is now choking on maintenance costs. I’m tired of seeing bridges fall down and expensive roads go bad while we spend billions on new stuff we will never be able to maintain.”
Marohn identifies himself as a conservative Republican, a stance that seems compromised in some ways by his close ties to the New Urbanist movement, most of whose leaders are liberal Democrats. But in keeping with his Republican roots, Marohn makes his arguments against highway building from a fiscal perspective. He doesn’t talk much about climate change, aesthetics or social justice. He talks about wasting the taxpayers’ money.
KS Raises Taxes To Cover Shortfall
From Governing Magazine (see it here): A tax plan crawled to passage in the Kansas House in the early hours Friday morning, after Gov. Sam Brownback warned lawmakers that massive budget cuts would occur Monday if they failed to act on taxes. The House began debate on a pair of bills at 1:30 a.m. meant to plug the state's nearly $400 million budget hole. It did not pass until after 4 a.m…. Rep. Marvin Kleeb, R-Overland Park, told his colleagues that if they failed to pass the bill then the state would be plunged into financial crisis. He asked them to be statesmen and support it. The House plan -- if both bills become law -- would raise the sales tax from 6.15 percent to 6.5 percent on July 1, which would bring in about $164 million in revenue. Rep. Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita, criticized this provision, noting that Kansas already has the highest sales tax in the region and the second highest tax on food in the nation. The hike on the state rate when combined with local taxes would give Kansas the highest tax on food in the nation, he argued.
WH: KC Commits to 1-Day Start-Up
Here’s the press release from the White House: “Yesterday, the White House and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in coordination with the National League of Cities, announced the launch of the Startup in a Day initiative, a partnership with U.S. cities to develop online tools that let entrepreneurs discover and apply—in less than a day—for local, state, and federal requirements needed to start a business… As any entrepreneur or small business owner knows, starting or expanding a business often entails dealing with considerable red tape, from setting up a legal business structure, to understanding zoning laws and licensing requirements, to acquiring various permits. Research suggests that small business owners are potentially more frustrated by mundane red tape than by other obstacles. The good news is that fairly simple and affordable technological solutions exist to digitize, consolidate, and condense into a matter of hours the licensing and permitting requirements that can otherwise take days or weeks of an entrepreneur’s time—time more productively spent on developing goods and services, finding customers, and growing the business….
The President issued a national call-to-action to America’s mayors to each develop a local online permitting and licensing tool, following the lead of pioneering cities including Boston, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Kansas City, among others that have taken meaningful steps in this direction…”
eMailbag on Senate 23
The back-and-forth continues: All things being equal if conservatives have two candidates why not go with the one who is not a political careerist that can match Anne Zerr's money and advance their cause? Team Parkinson just made the case for an Eigel-like candidate…
The Missouri Department of Revenue General Counsel's Office seeks Attorney. “The Missouri Department of Revenue General Counsel's Office has an opening for an attorney to conduct administrative alcohol hearings and represent the Department in circuit court bench trials. Trial experience is preferred. The position is located in Kansas City… Starting salary is $43,474 plus full state benefits…” See the ad here.
Missouri Public Service Commission seeks Deputy Counsel. “Ability to manage complex cases involving state and federal regulatory matters. The position serves as Deputy Counsel for gas issues at the Public Service Commission. Moderate amount of travel in-state is required… Starting salary range: $63,996 - $66,720; salary commensurate with education and applicable experience….” See the ad here.
From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:
Sen. Will Kraus Coffee – Coffee Zone, 130 E. High – JC – 8-9:30AM.
Saturday: Crawford County Republicans Golf – Cuba Country Club – Noon start.
David Larson added Concerned Citizens Compact.
Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Comprehensive Health Systems.
Parson for Governor - $5,100 from Friends of Wayne Wallingford.
Glazer’s Missouri PAC - $50,000 from Glazer’s Wholesale Drug Co.
Koster for Missouri - $15,000 from William Danforth.
Happy birthdays to Consultant Scott Charton.
Tomorrow: MEDA’s Michelle Pleus.