Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Override Hill Looking Steep on HB 253

In the battle whether the Republican House majority will override the governor’s veto of HB 253, yesterday Republican Rep. Nate Walker sounded skittish in the face of the governor’s withholds.  See the Kirksville Daily Express article here.

Pull Quote:    Walker said he believed the withholding of about $4 million set aside by the still-unsigned Senate Bill 19 for a Sullivan County Lake project was a direct signal to him and his constituents… ‘But when the final vote comes, if I think this impacts my district in a negative way, I will make the right decision.’  Walker did say if the vote were to take place Friday, he would have reversed his initial position and been against an override even as he questioned the governor's information and data indicating a revenue shortfall would be inevitable.”

And

This frustrates some Republicans who wonder what they’re going to override if not this bill.  They mean if Republicans can’t agree on lower taxes, what are they going to ever be united on? (Answer… guns?)

Nixon Appointee Beware…

One senator, reading yesterday’s bit about Governor Jay Nixon’s team scheming to find a Republican to appoint out of the House to handicap that chamber’s capacity to override a veto, texted me this gem: “I have to believe any house member that takes an appointment and inhibits our ability to override would have a very difficult time getting confirmed when we get back…”

Meet the New Scharnhorst

In House 98 where Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst is term-limited, his wife, Rea has started a campaign committee to run for his seat.  As far as I can tell she had never run for anything before in her life.  It’s a strong Republican district.

And

In House 90 where she’s run three times before, Deb Lavendar filed her paperwork to start a campaign committee for 2014.  Lavender ran each time previously – with varied success – against Rep. Rick Stream.  Stream is termed and this will present her best shot yet to take it for the Democrats.  Stream does have a brother, Scott, who has been involved in the school district.  We’ll see if he steps up.  The district does tilt Republican. 

Tax Cut Debate

The “Kansas experiment” continues.  The latest round has been won by the naysayers as the Kansas City Star reports that income tax revenue in the month of June is down 17% for Kansas.  See it here.

A few things to keep in mind... 

First, the famous Laffer Curve has been routinely misappropriated to support ridiculous statements in floor debates, like “whenever you cut taxes, revenues go up.”  That would make life simple, but in fact – if the Laffer Curve exists – the biggest question for policy-makers is what’s it’s shape and where are we on the curve.  Kansas may have been on the wrong side of the curve.

 

Second, economics happens in real life.  So it occurs in time and over time.  The people reacting are neither robots, nor supermen.  They take time to react.  So looking for evidence in the data shouldn’t be a single month snapshot, but should take place over time as well.

And Then There’s This

Do state policies really even matter?  I mean heresy, right?  But maybe all those piles of papers on legislators’ desks on the final day, maybe they don’t matter so much, especially when it comes to job growth. 

From the Atlantic: “Other than oil-drenched North Dakota, and to a lesser extent Texas and Utah, most states have had a fairly similar rate of employment growth since the economy bottomed out in 2009. And so the states that were in the deepest jobs hole when the recession ended are more or less still in the deepest jobs hole today. Those include Sun Belt states like California, Florida, and Arizona, as well as parts of the industrial midwest, like Michigan and Ohio…. But it does seem to bring into question the idea that state-level policies are really making an enormous difference when it comes to growth, no? The biggest winners: New York, West Virginia, Texas, Alaska, the Dakotas, and Utah. Or, to oversimplify a bit, Wall Street and resources.”  See it here.

Bits

Governor Jay Nixon vetoed bills he deemed silly (United Nations stuff), and Republicans cheered as he signed the bill to halt Department of Revenue from scanning certain documents.  See all Nixon’s actions here.

Among the bills signed was HB 117 which will hopefully bring more transparency and clarity to the initiative petition process.  See the summary here.

Speaker Tim Jones tweeted that he had 225 people at his golfy yesterday, surely raising oodles of cash.  Adding to the sweetness of the day was Governor Jay Nixon signing the DOR scanning banning bill (above).  Though this may have been tempered with the news (top) that Rep. Nate Walker was ready to bail on the tax cut override.

Rep. Tom Flanigan – future Budget chair – has started a blog (I think it’s him, don’t see it on the page) about fiscal matters.  See it here.

Missouri Times reports that former speaker Rod Jetton is no longer an owner of the paper.  See it here.

Dr. Kirk Nooks will become president of Metropolitan Community College – Longview, and Dr. Utpal Goswami will become president of MCC – Maple Woods campus.

 

$5K+Contributions

Dooley for St. Louis County - $6,250 from Christina Chapman.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $15,000 from Drury Development Corporation.

Slay for Mayor - $10,000 from Lawrence Group Properties.

SEIU HCII Missouri PAC - $50,000 from SEIU International.

Slay for Mayor - $7,500 from Integrity Real Estate Group.

Dooley for St. Louis County - $8,559 from Sheraton Westport Plaza.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

 

Stephen C Drake added Christian Science Committee on Publication for Missouri.

Kevin D Rome added Lincoln University.

Harry Gallagher, Heath C Clarkston, and Kimberly Akin deleted Molina Healthcare Inc.

Deborah Geib deleted Missouri School Boards’ Association.

Natalie Krawitz deleted University of Missouri System.

Avraham David Motzen deleted Agudath Israel.

Annamarie E Kostial deleted Concerned Women for America of Missouri.

Hank Lavallet deleted Forest Pharmaceuticals.

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Rep. TJ McKenna (29), and Bruce Wylie.