Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Special Session?

From: Tom Dempsey <tom.dempsey@senate.mo.gov<mailto:tom.dempsey@senate.mo.gov>>

Date: November 26, 2013, 12:48:41 PM CST

Subject: special session rumors

 

Dear Senate Colleagues,

 

Over the past few days, many of you may have heard rumors of an impending special session.  To help alleviate potential confusion, I wanted to bring everyone up to speed on the current situation based on the information I have.  As of today, the only communication I have had directly with Governor Nixon was a very brief phone call last week.  During this call he did not specifically commit to a special session.  However, he has asked me to attend a meeting tomorrow in Chesterfield where the matter will be discussed further.

 

I will keep you updated as I have more information.  Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions or concerns.

 

Tom Dempsey

President Pro Tem

The Talk

Legislators Still in the Dark

Today will be the first outreach from the governor’s office to legislative leaders. Nixon has a lot of ground to cover if he wants to call a special session in mid-December as rumored.  Although the prize is big enough, one might expect lawmakers to jump on-board, it seems some are already preparing to drag their feet if they’re not consulted.

Where’s Rex?

One wonders where Rex Sinquefield and the Grow Missouri crowd are on the idea of a Boeing package.  It’s about as clear an example as you could give of “picking winners and losers” rather than trying to lower the overall tax burden.   Do they pick up their pick-axes and torches and start hunting legislators like they did on Airtropolis?  Or do they issue a forgettable four-page paper from Show-Me Institute and let it slide?

Do We Need a Special?

One government relations exec questions whether we need a special or whether the existing “tool box” should suffice: “The new Missouri Works bill should prevent the need for a special session. That bill gives 6% (tax credits and retained withholdings) of wages for new jobs if they pay 90% or more of the average county wage. If there are 100 new jobs at 120% or 140% of the average wage, the state must pay 6% or 7% respectively. In addition, the state can add up to 3% as a discretionary match. All of these are for 6 years since Boeing already has operations in Missouri.

“If Boeing can claim that this is to retain jobs, they can get 100% of the withholdings for all of the jobs retained if they commit to keep the jobs for a decade. If they still need more money, they could go to the Missouri Build program that provides funding for large capital projects.

“If there must still be legislation, they could consider expanding the Manufacturing Jobs Act to include aviation manufacturing instead of limiting it to automobiles.”

Washington Post Picks South Carolina as Frontrunner

“South Carolina may be Washington State’s biggest threat in the contest for Boeing jobs. The company recently bought 500 acres of land near its North Charleston facility and committed $1.2 billion in additional dollars. Utah, another strong contender, already has an 800,000-square foot Boeing facility up and operating.”  Read it here

Missouri’s Competitive Advantages

But Missouri is not without some assets that Boeing might find attractive.  For starters, the overall tax structure is much lower than Washington State’s.  Additionally, we have an educational infrastructure to provide a trained workforce;  we have existing Boeing facilities; available land near the airport; and great access to rails.

Boeing Lobbyists

It’s unclear how deep the lobbyists are in this effort as the company appears to be working directly with the governor’s office.  However, here are their registered lobbyists: Janette Lohman, Kyna Iman, Trent Watson, and Frank H Plescia.

Jones to Tour State Again

Speaker Tim W. Jones’ twitterfeed: “Next Tuesday, December 3, we hit the road for ‪#‎MO ‪#‎SpeakersTour 4.0. Listening to Missourians & agenda 2014. Stay tuned for details!”

Bits

In Senate 2 primary, “The Onder for Missouri campaign is pleased to announce the endorsement of Phyllis Schlafly, conservative pioneer and founder of Eagle Forum, of Bob Onder’s candidacy for Missouri State Senate.”

Dr. Gary M. Henley, of Creve Coeur, has been confirmed as the newest member of the Board of Directors of the Missouri Coalition for Oral Health.  See their website here.

Post-Dispatch tries mightily to spin their big error undermining their latest investigative effort.  The dude they said was wrongfully jailed for 36 days, wasn’t jailed after all.  “Interviewed for the first time Monday, Cortez Cooper acknowledged that he was never jailed in the case…”  Read it here.  They ran the story without interviewing the guy?!  My first thought was “Jesus, that’s something I would do!!”   Read the police chief’s blog about it here.

Help Wanted

Bi-State seeks general counsel.  “Bi-State Development Agency/Metro General Counsel reports to the President & CEO, and is responsible for managing, coordinating and overseeing all of the Agency's legal activities, both internal and external. The primary focus of the position is to ensure that the legal rights and interests of the Agency are protected.”  See the ad here.

Missouri Hospital Association seeks associate general counsel.  See ad here.

Missouri Realtors seek two regional advocacy coordinators.  See ad here.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Tom Carter deleted Branson Sport Entertainment Complex LLC, SM Wilson, and Branson Airport LLC.

$5K+Contributions

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $5,001 from Craig Concannon.

MO Senate Democratic Campaign Committee - $20,000 from Carpenters Help In Political Process (CHIPP) PAC.

Money Notes

The checks to Stenger have gone completely unanswered by incumbent Charlie Dooley.  Will we see a single $100K Rex Sinquefield check arrive (around Christmas time perhaps) to level the playing field?  If not, it looks like Stenger will win this quarter.

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former Rep. Ron Casey (61).

Thanksgiving: Reps. Jeff Messenger (61) and Ed Schieffer (64), and SEIU’s Lenny Jones (46)

Friday: Reps. Joe Don McGaugh (30) and Mike Bernskoetter (54), and Peggy Nalls.

Saturday: Alison Gee and Lara Granich.

Sunday: County Executive Charlie Dooley, lobbyists Joe Knodell (71) and Frank Plescia (57).

Happy Thanksgiving…. See you in December…