Thursday, February 26, 2015

MO Chamber and The Vision Thing

The Missouri Chamber unveiled a 15-year strategic plan for the state.  It’s been in the works for months as the Chamber has met with hundreds of stake-holders and employed the services of the Gallup organization to get a handle on what Missouri companies feel they need to succeed.

It’s called Missouri 2030.  See the website here.  And see the full plan here.

There are four “drivers:” Preparing the Workforce; Competing for Jobs; Connecting Through Infrastructure; and Uniting the Business Community.

This initiative will drive the Chambers actions for the coming decade.  Big stuff, folks.


Spence on Missouri Promise

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence offers this assessment of Treasurer Clint Zweifel’s “Missouri Promise.”

I think that Clint Zweifel is on the right path.  I would take it one step further and include the following:

-This should include trade schools, junior colleges and four-year institutions.

-Take the tobacco tax up to a competitive level with neighboring states.  Kentucky is the next lowest.  Take it to at least their level.  This should appease the petroleum marketers who are typically against any type of increase.  They know it is going up but want to be in the discussion.

-I would also include the apprentice programs of the trades.  What is the difference?  It is a career.

-Collapse the A+ program into this scholarship fund.  Too many political games are played with funding.

-Create a non-partisan oversight board to ensure that politics is nowhere in the discussion of how funds are dispersed.

-There are 68,000 graduating seniors every year in Missouri.  There are approximately 150,000 seats in every eligible trade school, college or university.

-Only students that stay in Missouri for advanced education would be eligible. 

-This could be the best single act of re-investing in our future in the history of the state.

We need educated work ready individuals in Missouri.  This is a pathway to accomplish this.  I have sat down with Clint on several occasions and he and I are of like mind.  This is not about politics, this is about doing the right thing for Missouri families. 


eMailbag on Missouri Promise

House Dem: “Zweifel's plan is running up against the Raise Your Hand for Kids plan to fund early childhood education through the tobacco tax.  This plan has long been in the works and this pits one good cause against another. Disappointing. I envision lots of Dems coming out in support of the RYHFK plan soon…”


What Galloway for SOS Means

With Nicole Galloway putting out feelers about a possible secretary of state race, it puts a little more urgency into the game of chicken that Sen. Scott Sifton and Assessor Jake Zimmerman are playing.  There are still “safety valve” positions on the statewide slate for one of them to bow out and avoid a primary.  However the longer they wait, the more likely it is that other rising stars of the Dem Party will step into those voids.


Schmitt on Bullying

On a point of personal privilege yesterday, Sen. Eric Schmitt spoke passionately about a story in the Kansas City Star of a brutal beating of a middle-schooler, vowing to use the power of the purse to force school administrators to take the issue of bullying seriously.  Jason Hancock has the story here.

Oddly, Sen. Dave Schatz stood almost defending the administrators “until all the facts are known.”

Rep. Sue Allen has a bill on bullying working its way through the legislative process that could become a vehicle for any “teeth” that Schmitt is considering adding.

Politically the issue is an easy winner because you’re both hard on crime (helps with men), and showing your soft side by sticking up for kids (helps with women).


Greitens Walks Up to Starting Line

Eric Greitens took another step in his slow entry into the pool of the Republican gubernatorial primary.  He formed an exploratory committee, and seeded it with $50K of his own cash (see $5K+ Contributions below).


A tipster says this has been a long time coming… offering a rundown of domain names registered back in 2009…


Isom Exits

Director of Public Safety Dan Isom resigned yesterday after a very brief tenure.  Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, who sponsored his nomination for the post, issued a statement of disappointment, blaming Governor Jay Nixon.

 “I am extremely disappointed that Dr. Isom must not have been given the leeway to make reforms necessary after the unrest in Ferguson. I sponsored Dr. Isom’s nomination because I believe that he has the ability and experience to reform the justice system in the state of Missouri. The Governor needs to start taking responsibility for these needed reforms. This state needs leadership, and the Governor is not showing that right now.”


Nixon named Peter Lyskowski as acting director of the department, and former Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Sokoloff as a deputy director.

One source says that Andrea Spillars, the current deputy director, will be moving back to the governor’s office.

This episode reinforces the knock on Nixon that it doesn’t matter what position you have in the administration.  If you’re not in the inner circle (read: an attorney with history with the governor) you don’t really have his confidence.


Diehl Proposed Cut to Legislative Research

Rudi Keller has the story here.

Pull Quote: “The pool for partisan staff salaries in the General Assembly would grow by $1.5 million under a plan to cut 27 job positions at the Joint Committee on Legislative Research and divide the money and jobs between the House and Senate. The plan was included in a spending bill for statewide elected officials, lawmakers and the judiciary proposed Tuesday by House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Flanigan. It would eliminate two-thirds of the staff of the only legislative committee created by name in the Missouri Constitution… The plan will deprive members, especially lawmakers in the Democratic minority, of a source of professional, confidential work to prepare legislation, said Democratic House Budget Committee member Rep. Jeremy LaFaver of Kansas City…”


I heard from both sides on this…

Supporting the move: Rudi Keller's article regarding Legislative Research begins as a hit piece against the majority party. It's riddled with errors. House and Senate Research are non-partisan staff offices. They work very hard to guard their reputations as such. They research and write legislation for minority and majority members the same, no preferential treatment is given in any partisan fashion. They are bound by confidentiality agreements too, so there is a layer of protection for all members. Lafavre has once again done himself no favors by throwing legislative staff under the bus for cheap political points.  I encourage you to stop in to legislative research. It’s nearly a ghost town. The place could be ransacked by bandits and no one would notice for an hour. The House writes more than 90% of the House's legislation and the Senate hasn't used LR to draft bills for years (except when mirroring House bills as companion legislation).


And against it: It is only February and Diehl has already lapsed into… idiot territory.  Classic mistake in a term limited era.  Amateur hour.


And basically neutral: Many lobbyists prefer the (legislative research’s) work and request members to take their thing there.  Lobbyists will tell you it’s a better quality product on the whole and just a better feeling about the confidentiality… I think they are wrong about confidentially, right in quality.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar listing:

Tourism Pancake Breakfast – 3rd floor rotunda – 7:30-9:30 a.m.

Last day to introduce Senate bills.

Speaker John Diehl Reception – J. Buck’s, Clayton – 6 p.m.


$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for Koster - $25,000 from Strong Garner, Bauer PC.

Missourians for Koster – $25,000 from Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP.

Missourians for Koster – $10,000 from Operating Engineers Local 101 Political Action Committee.

Missourians for Koster – $10,000 from Agxplore International LLC.

Missourians for Koster – $10,000 from Pinnacle Entertainment Inc.

Missourians for Koster – $10,000 from August Busch III.

Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Political Account - $11,824 from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Greitens for Missouri - $50,000 from Eric and Sheena Greitens.



Happy birthdays to Brad Thielemier (43) and Brad Green (27).