Friday, February 22, 2013

Cookie Jar For Master Settlement Nightmare

One source suggests that if a fix for the Tobacco Master Settlement can’t be reached, and the State loses the arbitration as the attorney general fears, that the easiest source of cash is the Missouri Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund ( which has a massive cash surplus in the many millions “just sitting there.”



The Train of Big Issues and What It Means

This legislative session is notable for the number of very big ticket items which appear to have some momentum.  The list: billion-dollar bond issue for higher education, the one-cent sales tax for transportation, the utilities ISRS proposal, and the Medicaid expansion/transformation.


There are three competing narratives to account for the pipeline of mega-money issues.


From the left, a decade of Republican control of the legislature has been punctuated by a series of tax cuts and expanding tax credits, which has siphoned off any growth in the state revenues.  This slow starvation has reduced public investments to the point where even Republicans now acknowledge the need to deficit spend or raise taxes to meet the state’s needs.


From the right, the most vexing problem facing the state is its lack of economic growth.  All these debates over whether to spend money here or there would melt away if Missouri was experiencing 4% growth.  Less government regulation and taxation now would ignite growth and spare us this shrinking pie politics in the future.


And from the center, the legislature lacks the ability to confront and solve any issue which is not a crisis.  It’s only when buildings or roads start to crumble that action occurs.  After a few years of state capitol gridlock on these gathering crises, this session is devoted to working on the backlog.



Star Your Senate 2014 Engines

Rep. Chuck Gatschenberg took out a full page ad in the St. Charles Lincoln Days program declaring himself a candidate for Senate 2 (Scott Rupp termed) in 2014.


At the Democrats’ Hannibal Days, Reps. Jeff Roorda and Ed Schieffer are expected to publicly rev their engines for their 2014 senate campaigns.



What’s the Matter with Jefferson County?

In a follow-up to PROMO’s email blasting Democratic Reps who fear supporting the equality cause, one reader notes that most of those listed hail from Jefferson County.


“Jefferson County has long been seen as a statewide bellwether, and now it’s home to almost all the Dems on PROMO’s sh*tlist.  It’s an interesting fissure for the Missouri Democratic Party to deal with: how it can navigate being a strong statewide party with the competing pressures of progress interest groups while remaining viable in counties like JeffCo.”



$5K+ Contributions

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $15,000 from Friends of Caleb Jones.

Civic Progress Action Committee - $20,000 from Commerce Bancshares Inc.

Citizens for Safe and Accessible Arch and Public Parks Initiative In Collaboration With Civic Progress Action Committee - $250,000 from Civic Progress Action Committee.




Happy birthday (Saturday) to Rep. Rick Stream (64).


Sunday: Sen. Jolie Justus (42), Rep. Sonya Anderson, MO Chamber’s Tracy King, and former state senator Chuck Graham (48).