Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Truce in the Border War?

Today Governor Jay Nixon will sue for peace in Missouri’s “border war” with Kansas.  It’s said that Missouri has been losing in the escalating battle of competing incentives to lure businesses to one side or the other of the line dividing the two states.

Nixon will lay out the terms of the truce in a speech to the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. 

First here’s the context of what he’ll put on the table…

“All Missouri tax credits and incentives such as Missouri Quality Jobs are pure entitlements.  If a company meets the requirements, they get the tax credit or cash incentive no questions asked.  The Governor and Department of Economic Development have no discretion in allowing benefits. 

“Kansas on the other hand has discretion built into all its incentives, with the exception being High Performance Incentive Program.  The Governor in consultation with the Secretaries of Commerce and Revenue can approve or deny any of them with the exception of HPIP.”

The Deal…

Missouri passes legislation to make all their tax credits subject to discretion by their Administration, and then Kansas will consider doing the same with HPIP.   Then presumably the two administrations nix the hand out of any goodies to companies just playing the two states against each other.

The first and biggest problem here is that (from the best I can tell) the Missouri legislature hasn’t been consulted on this proposal at all.  Nixon is just winging it that he can get this through. 

And would they have a problem with it?  It may be viewed as a naked power grab.  Nixon (and then perhaps his successor Chris Koster) is reaching to take total control of the millions and  millions of dollars of economic incentives which the state doles out each year.  Many of them were structured to avoid the intrusion of political considerations.

One source says that Kansas is “skeptical” that Nixon can push the legislation through, and that “Kansas would not do anything until Missouri acted first.”

More St. Louis County Executive Bits

Steve Stenger continues on his streak of recording large donations (see below).  It appears a well-orchestrated roll-out of $5,000+ checks to demonstrate that his fundraising is the real deal.  One wonders whether Rex Sinquefield will come to Charlie Dooley’s rescue between now and the quarter end with another six figure check?



The new Dooley playbook?  Without “AAA Charlie” what will Dooley’s message look like?  One politico imagines we’ll see the laundry list of economic development gains, notably Express Scripts’ ever flourishing expansion, and Monsanto’s huge investments.

Name float…. Cole McNary… discuss….

Nicastro Listens, Tweets

Last night DESE topper Chris Nicastro attended a meeting to hear from those impacted by the floundering Normany School District.  See the Post-Dispatch article here.

Pull- Quote: For about 90 minutes, Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro sat behind a white cloth-draped table in the middle of the gym floor. With other top officials from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, she listened and took notes while Superintendent Ty McNichols laid out what his staff is doing to accelerate learning in Normandy schools.


Texted from one unhappy camper: “It’s pretty frustrating to be at the Normandy meeting tonight and see Nicastro playing on twitter as the superintendent is laying out plan… This is why people are frustrated with DESE no sense they are actually listening when they ask for input.”

Kendrick For House 45

The Missouri Times reports that Kip Kendrick will run for Rep. Chris Kelly’s seat, and has received his endorsement.  See it here

My thanks, as always, to the peerless John Combest for the link.


Citizens for Steve Stenger - $5,005 from CHIPP Political Account.