Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Schmitt’s Muni Tickets Bill

Sen. Eric Schmitt’s SB 5 which would reduce the amount on which municipalities can rely traffic ticket revenue will be heard this afternoon in his Jobs, Economic Development Committee.

Grow Missouri polled the issue two nights ago, finding that 55% of Missouri voters agreed with the proposal.

This bill represents the first legislative action arising from the Ferguson crisis over the summer.


Curtis Files Construction Bill

Yesterday Rep. Courtney Curtis filed a bill which would weaken labor organizations in the construction industry.  See it here.  It’s an unusual move for a Democrat.

“[N]o person employed in the construction industry shall be required as a condition of or continuation of employment to: (1) Become or refrain from becoming a member of a labor organization; (2) Pay any dues, fees, assessments, or other similar charges however denominated, of any kind or amount to a labor organization…”


Obama’s 529 Proposal

From Politico’s Money: WSJ's John D. McKinnon and Kristina Peterson: "A White House proposal to trim tax benefits of popular college-savings accounts is stirring opposition in Congress, and complicating negotiations over efforts to streamline education tax breaks. The proposal, part of a tax plan released by ... Obama over the weekend, would scale back a significant break that Republicans generally want to preserve - taxpayers' ability to use money earned in 529 college-savings plans on a tax-free basis…. Currently, people can withdraw money from the 529 accounts without paying taxes on the earnings. Under the Obama plan, the gains earned on those investments would be subject to tax as they are withdrawn to pay for education expenses."


State Treasurer Clint Zweifel’s Statement

"As State Treasurer I oversee MOST-Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan. Since 2009, I have decreased costs for the average Missourian and increased access to an affordable, easy-to-use 529 plan. Tonight, President Obama is expected to propose changes to the tax benefits of 529 plans. While the details of the President's proposal have not yet been shared, I do not believe raising taxes on families saving for college is the right way to go. There is no question we should ease the burden on the middle class, but we should not do so at the expense of their higher education savings.

Working families need every tool they can get to successfully save for their children's future and, study after study, has shown the mere presence of these accounts can positively impact the future higher education decision of a child. It is my hope President Obama and Congress will work together to find a solution that both lifts up the middle class and preserves the current tax benefits to our nation's 529 plans."


Obama to KS

On Thursday, January 22, President Barack Obama will deliver remarks at the University of Kansas and discuss the themes from his State of the Union address.

President Obama’s remarks at University of Kansas are free and open to the public. Tickets are required and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will be limited to one ticket per person. Due to limited space, the White House will only be able to distribute a limited number of tickets.


Ameren Proposes “Win-Win”

In a press release yesterday, Missourians for a Balanced Energy Future (MBEF) announced that Ameren has filed what it calls a “win-win” proposal with the Public Service Commission.  The offer appears aimed to reach a compromise with its biggest customer/ nemesis Noranda.

“Noranda and Ameren Missouri engage in a new 5-year contract to obtain a lower wholesale rate that is more manageable for Noranda; Ameren Missouri’s other customers would be protected from the type of dramatic increases that would result from Noranda’s previous proposals; At the end of the 5 year term Ameren Missouri would have the ability to sell the energy Noranda was using on the open market, with the profits from those sales being shared with their other customers as an offset to their cost of service.”

No word from FERAF yet on their feelings on this proposal.  We’ll see…



Little past midway through the month, revenues are looks steady with the bellwether individual income receipts up over 8% this month.

According to LinkedIn, former Ryan Silvey staffer Tammy Corrigan is now the Rolla District Director for Congressman Jason Smith.

And Katie Jansen Larson is now Executive Director for Missouri Faith Voices.


New Committees

Zech Hockersmith started a campaign committee to run for Senate 16 as a Republican in 2018. The current incumbent, Dan Brown is termed.  Hockersmith ran as a Democrat for House 120 last cycle, winning on 25% of the vote.  Go figure…

Samuel Cummings III started a campaign committee to run for St. Louis City Alderman (Ward 7) as a Democrat.

Painters District Council 58 started a PAC.  Carl Farrell is the treasurer.

A new PAC was formed, Missouri Education Alliance.  Its treasurer is Douglas WittFollow Witt on Twitter here.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

St. Louis Day at the Capitol, Reception – Revel (old G2), Jefferson City – 4:30-6 p.m.

Joint Session – State of State Address – House Chamber – 7 p.m.


Lobbyists Registration Changes

Andy Blunt, Mark Schwartz, and Jay Reichard added Conservation Federation of Missouri.

Erin Brower added Raise Your Hand for Kids.

Deanna Hemphill, Katherine Casas, David Jackson, and Dave Berry added Atkins North America Inc.

Deanna Hemphill, David Jackson, and Dave Berry added Children’s Education Council of Missouri.

Michael Hafner added Missouri Century Foundation.

Lisa Christie added Missouri State University.

David Winton and Scott Penman added Renew Missouri.

Lowell Pearson added Uber Technologies Inc.; and deleted Uber, Sidecar, Carma Carpool, Hayride.

Shannon Cooper and Nancy Giddens added The Britton Group LLC; and deleted John Britton Associates.

David McCracken added The Nine Network of Public Media.

Christopher Molendorp added Missouri Health Connection.

William Shoehigh deleted Engagepoint.


$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $15,000 from Mallard LLC.



Happy birthdays to Farrah Fite and Mindy Brissey.