Tuesday, March 19, 2013

 

Stewart: ISRS is Win-Win

On the opposite side of yesterday’s Cargill letter, here’s one from World Wide Technology supporting ISRS...

 

Dear President Pro Tem Dempsey and Speaker Jones,

 

I wanted to take a moment to express my support for HB 398 and SB 207 and emphasize why reforming Missouri’s 100 year-old energy regulations is so important to the future economic health of Missouri… From my perspective, that is a win-win for Missouri. I am Chairman of the Board at World Wide Technology, one of Forbes Top 100 Largest Private Companies, headquartered here in Missouri…

 

World Wide Technology is in the process of building a state of the art, only one in its class executive business center… And, more amazing, this data center is being located in the state of Missouri!  This will draw customers literally from around the globe to St. Louis. You can well imagine that reliable electric infrastructure is crucial to our business and the value that we bring to our customers and partners.  At the same time, for World Wide Technology’s future business development, it is essential that Missouri’s electric infrastructure be sufficiently upgraded to support new high-tech business and manufacturing opportunities.  ISRS makes all of this possible with the added of benefit of creating new, quality jobs—jobs that are sorely needed here in Missouri…

 

Sincerely,

David L. Steward

Chairman

 

 

Is a Right Side Challenge to Jones Possible?

2016 seems rather far off, and one wonders how much weight votes taken this session will matter in that election year.  Still, there is a considerable convoy of less than conservative items chugging through the House.  And one wonders whether that will open Speaker Tim Jones’ right-side flank in 2016.

 

The $1.2 billion debt issuance can certainly be scripted to sound less than financially austere.  The “transformation” of Medicaid might be made to sound like – gasp! – an expansion of Medicaid.  New specialized tax credits might sound like frivolous giveaways.  The utility’s ISRS proposal could be labeled a “surcharge.”  And the one-cent sales tax for roads has already been called “the largest tax increase in the history of the state,” even if it does need the voters’ approval.

 

Meanwhile in the Senate, there are two attorneys, who will be term-limited in 2016.  Sens. Eric Schmitt and Kut Schaefer could be potential rivals to Jones.  While both are less likely to bombast some red meat while standing in front of microphones, their voting records might stack up every bit as conservative as Jones in this session.

 

Exhibit A: Both Schaefer and Schmitt voted against the one-cent sales tax last week.

 

Will these issues matter in 2016?  We’ll see…

 

 

Department of Labor Moves

Yesterday Governor Jay Nixon appointed Larry Rebman Administrative Law Judge for Kansas City.  Rebman had been Director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Julie Gibson was named as acting department director in his place.

 

And I’m told that Gracia Backer, director of the Division of Employment Security, has also exited the department.

 

 

MOHealthNet Report

The Department of Social Services’ recent report – MO Healthnet Employer Match Report – confirms what some liberals have feared… acceding to business’ wish to lower wages is cementing a government-dependent workforce.

 

“The MO HealthNet (MHN) Employer Match Report provides a description of employers of 50 or more MHN enrollees and/or employees that are responsible for spouses or children who are MHN enrollees. MHN is Missouri’s Medicaid program. The report is intended to assess the relative extent to which employees of Missouri’s largest employers are enrolled in MHN. This report, prepared by the Department of Social Services (DSS) from available data, does not purport to be a full accounting of Missouri employers with employees or families who are enrolled in MHN.”

 

Near the top of the list is WalMart which has over 2,000 Missouri employees utilizing MOHealthnet.

 

 

My Rentle Reminder About Wages

Sometimes I feel it necessary to remind the obvious: we want high wages.  People making more money is a good thing.  Oddly, this can get lost in discussions over competitiveness.  Working folks making enough money to be able to cover their medical premiums is an obvious public policy goal.

 

“The liberal reward of labour… to complain of it is to lament over the necessary effect and cause of the greatest public prosperity.” Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations.

 

 

eMailbag: On the RNC’s Report

“Dave of course there is a perception of Republicans having an anti-minority sentiment. The first attack is on public employees and public unions, public employees that are union for the most part minorities. The rest of the unions are under attack, and if the big super majority is trying to insist it is not threatened by that small minority of population, then their argument holds no water. You cannot convince me that less than 10% of the people (union members) are threatening the entire state’s economy…”

 

 

eMailbag: Fun with Factions

“The Republicans will soon catch the Catholics for the number factions within their organization.”

 

 

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

 

Thomas M Byrne added Ameren Corp, Ameren Missouri, and Ameren Services.

Joel R Elmer added Missouri State Public Defender System.

Elise Helgesen added Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Patricia R. Jensen added City of Belton, and KCI/I-29 Community Improvement District.

Paul Wagner added Council on Public Higher Education.

K Andrew Weber added Jay Davidson, Stone Chapel LLC, Schaefer Family, and Dardenne Duck Club.

 

 

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Kim George Becking (42).

 

 

MOScout News

Mid-term grades coming… if you have any input, send them to dave@moscout.com.  Thanks!