Second Thursday Update

Few developments so far today…

Budget FUBAR?

Several hallway sources are shaking their heads at the state of the budget.  One common worry: the conference committees may have exceeded their powers, by “exceeding the differences” between their two versions when they were not empowered to do so.  This will create points of orders and potentially insurmountable barriers to their fast approval today.

At this time, the House is debating the budget, and this issue has been raised.  They have brushed off the criticism, but the issue will receive a more thorough vetting in the Senate.

I have heard from three Senate-side folks who have expressed varying degrees of concern… from “bumpy” to “FUBAR.”

And

Another worry is that the First Steps program, which according to the budget is supposed to be funded from the new fund in SB 350, draws federal funds matched from the state’s general revenue expenditures.  And the program would lose the match if it is funded from this new fund. 

And this all assumes that SB 350 will pass – which I think it will.  However folks believe it will be close with Democrats expected to vote against it, and many Republicans unexcited about cutting aid to low-income renters.  And the governor says he’ll veto it.  Problems, problems…

If

If the budget does have procedural or structural flaws, we could be headed for a special session.  People gaming out that scenario think the special session on the budget would run concurrently with the final days of regular session next week – adding to the mayhem.

But

The Senate may raise a stink and then hold their nose – or the problems could be fixed tomorrow.  We’ll see…

Land Assemblage Disassembles?

A legislator from the western side of the state confirms that the developers working on the Bannister Mall development have “cut a deal” with Governor Jay Nixon to help fund their efforts.  Previously they had been hanging their hat on the land assemblage tax credit extension.  Inside they will receive aid from another – yet undisclosed source.

This deals a blow to Paul McKee’s attempt to amend the tax credit he’s using for the north St. Louis development as the Kansas City delegation no longer has any “skin in the game.”

And

On the heels of this news, it’s said that the developers will soon be announcing a big anchor for their planned Bannister Mall.

Have fun out there!....