Tuesday, March 5, 2013

House Positions on EcoDevo

I think the most interesting hearing of the week may be tomorrow morning’s initial hearing of SB1.  It’s been a thorny issue for the past couple of years, and the receptivity the Senate compromise gets in the Workforce Committee will be the first signal whether the knot will be unwound this year.  The two chambers have never even gone to conference on this issue.  But the House plans to kick back their own version of Second Injury Fund fix and workers comp, so the ball will move down the field…


Tax Credits

The House is committed to sending clean “benevolent” tax credits and “sporting events” tax credit to the governor’s desk without the entangling “global tax credit bill.”  This will demonstrate to the business community that the Republican super-majorities are moving beyond the stalemate politics of the past couple of sessions.


They will still go after the big tax credit reform deal, but they will allow these two smaller issue to pass without harm.


On the big deal, the House will knock the ball back to the Senate’s side of the court with a response that is still seen as an opening in a torturous negotiating path. The House bill will likely have a net positive fiscal note in the $100 million dollar range – down from the Senate’s $700 million.  Much of that will be the result in higher caps on historic preservation and low-income housing tax credits.  But they may also roll the Distressed Land Assemblage tax credit into the big bill.


Furthermore it’s possible that EcoDevo Chair Anne Zerr will introduce the concept of an overall tax credit cap.  That is, a cap for all tax credits, instead of focusing on the two big ones.




The House is planning to pass both the sales tax and the billion-dollar debt issuance out of their chamber.  The anti-tax and anti-spending mentalities will be suspended under the cloak of these proposals going to a vote of the people.



Lewis and Clark Expands

The Lewis and Clark Regional Leadership Forum – a group of businessmen in St. Charles and Franklin County – have reportedly expanded their membership recently to include some familiar faces: businessmen from the 2012 cycle Dave Spence and John Brunner, as well as real estate baron Garry Grewe.


Last week Lewis and Clark had a cocktail reception at the Chesterfield Drury Inn.  Politicos on hand included Auditor Tom Schweich, Speaker Tim Jones, Floor Leader John Diehl, EcoDevo Chair Anne Zerr and Rep. Bart Korman.  My source there says that they didn’t see any state senators in attendance.



New Members of the Medicaid Coalition

The coalition to expand Medicaid continues to grow.  Last week they added the American Lung

Association, American Heart Association, and MS Society.  According to leaders, “nearly every major voluntary health organization in Missouri supports leveraging the federal funds available to expand coverage.”



Could the Jesuits Broker a Deal?
For those who love the St. Louis high school game – consider the various positions on the Medicaid expansion issue of graduates of St. Louis University High School – Speaker Tim Jones, MO Primary Care’s Joe Pierle, MO Chamber’s Dan Mehan, and Attorney General Chris Koster.  Maybe the Jesuits prevail on their former students to sit down in a room and figure it out?..


If they did, they could bring in graduates from St. Louis Jesuit high school DeSmet as well whose alumni include Senate Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, Sen. Eric Schmitt, Tim Jones’ chief of staff Tom Smith, Peter Kinder’s general counsel Brian Bunten, and the unassuming, but very crafty lobbyist Trent Watson.



Leara on Right to Farm

Sometimes when you read a Capitol update from legislators you scratch your head.  I did that reading Rep. Mike Leara’s recent missive wondering if he’s eyeing a statewide contest down the road, as his topics were “Protecting Rural Missourians,” and “Helping Joplin Move Forward,” presumably not huge immediate concerns for his South St. Louis County district.


“The Missouri House passed legislation this week sending a strong message about our support of your right to farm here in Missouri. We are fully committed to standing in defense of the traditions, values and rights we Missourians have held dear for generations…  As we engage in this effort to protect the rights of farmers, it is important to understand one of the most powerful weapons in the war on rural Missouri has been the authority of federal and state agencies to put new 'rules' in place….”



More on Senate 22

Another name as a possible Republican nominee in Senate 22 is County Councilwoman Renee ReuterSee bio here.  Says a JeffCo source, “I’ve heard for two years now she either would run for senate or against Waller in a primary.”  This persona adds, “And of course you can always throw in random speculation about Dick Ford and Zip Rzeppa…”



State Revenue

February state tax revenues declined by .2% compared to February 2012.  Fiscal-year-to-date, state revenues remain up 8.7% from last year.


Here’s the breakdown by category:

Individual income tax collections

Increased 1.6% for the month.

Increased 5.5% for the year.


Sales and use tax collections

Decreased 9.5% for the month.

Increased 0.8% for the year.


Corporate income and corporate franchise tax collections

Increased 62.6% for the month.

Increased 2.9% for the year.


All other collections

Increased 9.8% for the month.

Increased 34.9% for the year.



Decreased 0.2% for the month.

Decreased 16.5% for the year.




Former state representative Billy Pat Wright is now on staff with Sen. Doug Libla.



Democratic nominee Josh Peters – who is the next presumptive state representative from House 76 (Chris Carter seat) filed his campaign committee.  See it here.



St. Louis social media start-up, Lockerdome, closed a $6 million fundraising deal.  According to the St. Louis Business Journal “the round was oversubscribed to by $18 million.”  This is a big deal for Missouri when you consider that in2012 year start-ups across the state raised just $21 million.



Missouri Times reports that Jeff Roe will speak to the conservative confab CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) on March 14.  Read it here.



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Jerry W Burch added Vernon County Ambulance District, Missouri Eating Disorder Association, National Eating Disorders Association.

Brian J. Grace added Pinnacle Entertainment Inc., and Voices for Children.

Jewell D. H. Patek added Hawthorn Group LC.

Steven H Dinolfo deleted YES/4, Incorporated.

L Kent Gaines deleted Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Missouri.

Dylan Hampton deleted The Associated Students of the University of Missouri.

Mary Schantz deleted KC Regional Home Care Association.

Don Stamper deleted            Air Methods Corporation.

Ryne P Lilly deleted Triumph Foods LLC.



$5K+ Contributions

Continue to Care Committee - $10,00 from Kansas City Free Health Clinic.

7th District Congressional Republican Committee - $7,500 from John Gentry.




Happy birthday Reps. Paul Fitzwater (54) and Rochelle Walton Gray.