Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reading Results From The Kansas Experiment

HB 253, the Missouri tax cut proposal, is quite different than the tax cut Kansas enacted last year.  The Missouri is more modest. For example, the cornerstone of the plan, a .5% income tax rate cut, is phased in over ten years.

However because both supporters and opponents of HB 253 are using the Kansas experiment for their talking points, I figured it’d be helpful to have a little clarity on the Kansas experience.

First, know that the Kansas experiment is just beginning.  Life is not a textbook.  It takes businesses, entrepreneurs, bankers, consumers (and others) time to react to changes in policy.

Second, know that the sky has not fallen in Kansas, and neither has it been transformed into a lan of milk and honey.

Now the numbers.  See them here.  It’s a blog by Duane Goosen, former budget director for that state.

Where are the numbers now?  Total receipts for the state have fallen (the bottom line on that chart), down 1.1%, but they have beaten the projections.  In other words, each side has a set of facts with which they may arm themselves.

A note of caution though, there is evidence that receipts were buffeted by increased capital gains tax collections – independent of the Kansas tax change – as wealthy individuals sought to cram income (from stock sales for example) into 2012 rather than take it in 2013 when the higher federal taxes would apply.  Without this one-time boost going forward, receipts may be not hold up as well in the year ahead.  We’ll see…

Override Bits

Speaker Tim Jones now has spoken to Rep. Jeff Roorda regarding his vote on HB 253 and where he is on the override.  Roorda, reportedly, has not closed the door either way.  Dems I talk to feel confident that Roorda will not vote to override the Democratic governor.

Behind the scenes, some of the House Republican caucus’ more moderate members have been working to shore up Aye votes this summer.  Reps. Noel Torpey and Dave Hinson, for example, are working the Republican members.  And despite media attention to the remarks of several wavering Reps (Nate Walker, Jeff Grisamore, and Lynn Morris), Republicans believe that everyone is in play – there are no hard Nos within their caucus at this time.

The House Republicans have their summer caucus next week.  At that time, there’ll be an airing of the bills slated for override.  After the caucus, they will engage in a serious whip count, before deciding which bills to pursue an override on.

Speaker Tim Jones thinks they’ll be able to nab an override on between two to four of the twenty-nine vetoed bills.  Ones Republicans think are in play: HB 253 tax cut bill obviously is at the top of the list; HB 650 Doe Run (I don’t see it, but it’s on their list); HB 436 (gun bill); and HB 301 (sexual offenders) which passed 150-0 including 48 Dems.


PoliticMO’s Eli Yokley writes about Gov-nominee-in-waiting Chris Koster adeptly staying mum on the tax cut override.  Read it here.

As Rep. Caleb Rowden tweeted, there could be some tensions as Rex Sinquefield has been a serious donor to Koster. “MO Dems have a problem. Their 2016 Gov. candidate is in the pocket of the guy pushing 4 #HB253 override.”

Follow-up on Missouri July Revenues

AP’s Chris Blank explains the “other collections” that led to the drop in year-over-year state tax revenues.  “Missouri started the 2014 budget with a dip in revenues that the budget director said Friday could be pegged to receipt last year of the state’s share from the national mortgage settlement.”  See it here.

Nicastro to General Assembly: Long Term, It’s Time for Conversation

“Long term we believe that this is the time to have a serious statewide conversation about the issue of failing schools and districts, and about how we, as a State, can ensure quality educational access for every child. We need a comprehensive plan for addressing this need in a systemic, sustainable way that considers new frameworks for governance, operations and performance at the school level.”  Read it here.

Is it me or is there a complete lack of urgency here?

Schaaf Fundy in St. Louis

Sen. Rob Schaaf, up for re-election in Senate 34 (a swing district), is coming to the eastern side of the state for a fundraiser on August 22.  The special guests of the $25 event are: Speaker Tim Jones, Rep. Paul Curtman, Party Chair Ed Martin and former Sen.-turned lobbyist Jim Lembke.  The keynote speaker is Dr. Randy Tobler, an OB/GYN and radio personality.


Why Team Zimmerman isn’t talking about Treasurer ’16: “It is a baseball rule, you gotta win the league championship before you talk about starting pitchers for the World Series.”

In last week’s St. Louis Business Journal, a federal lien was listed against former Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. and his firm, Bosley and Associates LLC.  The amount was $8,127.

Democratic activist Rea Kleeman’s JOEPAC has a website now.  See it here.

Wanted: Future Leaders (Interns)

“The Missouri Senatorial Democratic Campaign Committee is looking for enthusiastic, politically minded future leaders for our 2014 election cycle… This is a unique opportunity for hardworking, passionate future leaders to gain real life, hands-on experience in Democratic politics, strengthen their understanding of the political process and prepare for future political opportunities. It’s also a great way to form lasting connections and memories.”  See ad here.


United Food & Commercial Workers Local #655 Elect Political Action Fund - $6,348 from United Food & Commerical Workers Local #655.

MO Chamber PAC - $15,000 from Burns & McDonnell.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Enterprise Holdings Inc.

Stand Up Missouri - $8,250 from Brundage Management Company.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Ian Evans deleted The Home Depot.

Lisa A Steelman deleted Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Mike Sutherland deleted Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Gamble & Schlemeier.

Lisa Clancy deleted Children’s Education Council of Missouri.


It’s said that Lisa Clancy is headed to go work for Teach for America.


Happy birthdays to former Reps. Bob Nance (64), and Bryan Stevenson (44).