Friday, May 2, 2014

Nixon Vetoes SB 509

As expected Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the Republican legislature’s tax cut bill.  “Senate Bill 509 is an unfair, unaffordable and dangerous scheme that would defund our schools, weaken our economy, and destabilize the strong foundation of fiscal discipline that we’ve worked so long and hard to build.”

Speaker Tim Jones’ statement: ““Unfortunately, I am not surprised that Governor Nixon has vetoed a bill which would have enacted meaningful tax reforms which would have helped Missouri’s working families.  This should serve as a reminder to the people of our state about the importance of having a Republican governor. Our outdated tax code is pushing businesses out of Missouri and taking too much money from our state’s families, and this bill would help provide relief for Missourians and make our state a pro-growth state.”

Look for the override vote to come Monday.  Senate will vote first then pass it to the House where it may take a day or two depending on whether they have all their members present.  The House Republicans can’t have any absences due to personal reasons.

Moody’s Downgrades Kansas

With the sort of timing which cheered opponents of SB 509, Moody’s downgrades Kansas’ debt in part due to their tax cuts from last year.

The story: Moody's Investors Service downgraded Kansas Wednesday, dropping the state's issuer rating to Aa2 from Aa1, citing the state's weak economy and piecemeal approach to balancing the state budget.

 

As a result, Moody's downgraded to Aa3 from Aa2 $1.23 billion of subject-to-appropriation bonds, and also downgraded $1.6 billion of state highway revenue bonds from to Aa2 from Aa1.

 

Outlooks returned to stable from negative.

 

"The downgrade reflects Kansas' relatively sluggish recovery compared with its peers, the use of non-recurring measures to balance the budget, revenue reductions (resulting from tax cuts) which have not been fully offset by recurring spending cuts, and an underfunded retirement system for which the state is not making actually required contributions," Moody's lead analyst Lisa Heller wrote.

Hemp Oil Passes Senate

With a 32-0 vote, the Senate approved the hemp oil bill.  In his closing speech, Sen. Eric Schmitt related his personal experience as a father.  His son, Stephen, has epilepsy.  And hemp oil could potentially help him.   Hear it here

“And when he has (seizures) at night all I can do is just hold him and say that I love him.  And I often wonder what he would say to me (if he could speak).  Is he scared? How long is it going to last?  But we just do what we can.  We just love him like any parents would.  And I pray every night when I’m holding him that something would make a difference. I don’t know if this will.  We’ve had hope before.  It hasn’t worked out. This might or might not.  We’re willing to try.  There’s a lot of families that are.  That are moving their whole lives to another state to do this.  So I hope that they have an opportunity in the state that they love, where they have family, where they have that support network, where they have people to help them, they can do it in their own homes and not have to move…”

Gunn Opens Shop

The press release: Kevin D. Gunn, the former Chairman of the Missouri Public Service Commission and former Chief of Staff to Congressman Richard A. Gephardt, announced today that he is launching Paladin Energy Strategies, LLC. and open The Law Offices of Kevin D. Gunn.

 

Paladin Energy Strategies will assist clients as they navigate all aspects of regulatory affairs: include state and federal regulations, State Public Service Commissions, strategic planning and public policy issues…

 

As chairman of the Missouri Public Service Commission, Gunn oversaw the regulation of all investor-owned utilities in the state; ensuring ratepayers received safe, adequate and reliable utility service at reasonable rates.

 

Immediately prior to launching Paladin Energy Strategies, LLC and The Law Offices of Kevin D. Gunn, Gunn was a Shareholder at Polsinelli practicing in the Energy Group...  

Filing News

Tristan Walker (Republican) was disqualified in House 84.  And Marjorie Dahmer (Republican) withdrew from House 92.

With these changes here’s the current list of filings that are still open according to the secretary of state.

The Democratic Party Nominating Committee may select a Democratic candidate for State Representative District 49.  The candidate must file by 5:00 p.m. on May 6th, 2014.

The Republican Party Nominating Committee may select a Republican candidate for State Representative District 76. The candidate must file by 5:00 p.m. on May 23rd, 2014.

The Republican Party Nominating Committee may select a Republican candidate for State Representative District 92. The candidate must file by 5:00 p.m. on May 29, 2014.

The Republican Party Nominating Committee may select a Republican candidate for State Representative District 84. The candidate must file by 5:00 p.m. on May 29, 2014.

Candidate filing for the office of State Representative District 27 remains open until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 28, 2014, due to a candidate withdrawing in that district.

Uber Deletes Lobbyist

In the lobbyist registrations below, it’s interesting to see Uber deleting their lobbyist. Uber is a ride-sharing company.  One of their competitors, Lyft, has tangled with St. Louis’ Metropolitan Taxi Commission.  See that story here.   Uber’s lobbyist was Annie Presley.  She’s a lawyer in Kansas City who doesn’t do much in Jefferson City and had been registered to work with local governments.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Richard M Aubuchon, Rodney D Gray, Tami Holliday, Peter Levi, and Susan Henderson Moore added Interact.

Randy L Cole deleted Division of Fire Safety, and Randy L. Cole.

George J Kerry deleted Archbishop of St. Louis.

Annie Presley deleted Uber Technologies Inc.

Gary L Smith deleted University of Missouri.

$5K+ Contributions

AGC MO PAC - $12,180 from Branco Enterprises Inc.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Scott Dieckhaus (34), and Jac Cardetti.

Saturday: Rep. Michael Frame, Sarah Steelman (56), Susan Henderson Moore, and Roy Temple.

Sunday: Secretary of State Jason Kander (33).