Wednesday, December 12, 2012

 

Moody on Revenue Numbers

The recent state revenue numbers show that collections are up 7.2%  year-to-date.  That sounds like good news, but former budget director Jim Moody calls it “misleading” in his latest client briefing and says that beneath that top-line number there are signs growth is not really that strong.

 

Moody makes three big points.

 

First, “when looking at individual income tax, the best figure to look at is the growth in individual income tax withholding, which is +2.8% growth YTD.  That is pretty tepid growth from the most important leading indicator for general revenue.”

 

Second, “gross sales and use tax receipts were up YTD in October by 2.7%, buoyed by a growth of +9.1% for October.   We thought that the October number was probably an anomaly created by due dates, and that appears to have been correct.”

 

And finally, “the large year to date growth in net GR collections is driven almost exclusively by a huge drop in corporate income tax/franchise tax refunds… This is really strange.  Gross YTD corporate collections are down -5.5%.  Yet net corporate collections are up 73.1%...”

 

 

Michigan Stirs the Anti-Labor Pot

Michigan goes “right to work.”  Read it here.

 

The lede from the NYTimes

“With Democrats and labor leaders vowing retribution at the ballot box and beyond, the Republican-dominated Michigan Legislature on Tuesday approved sweeping, statewide changes to the way unions will be financed, substantially reducing their power in a state that has long been a symbol of union might and an incubator for the American labor movement.”

 

 

Legislature to Target Local Ordiances

Meanwhile here in Missouri, legislative leaders reacted with hostility to a new St. Louis County ordinance requiring bidders on certain projects to have an apprenticeship program.   Read the Beacon article here.

 

Tim Jones Statement

“I am firmly opposed to the proposal requiring contractors on jobs over $25,000 to operate a Department of Labor-approved apprenticeship program.  This will block the lion’s share of contractors - including many local minority- and female-owned contracting companies - from competing for these jobs, virtually guaranteeing they go to only union-affiliated contractors.  Essentially, this proposal would block  a large number of taxpayers from competing for projects funded by their own dollars.  That is patently unfair and unjust on its face.  The awarding of public works contracts should be based on quality and price.  We should not subject contractors to an additional requirement that they meet arbitrary standards meant solely to benefit politically

powerful unions.  If the County Council proceeds with this action, we will surely have to review this decision at the state legislative level in 2013 to determine what recourse is available to protect the thousands of hard working small business owners in St. Louis County and across our state.”

 

Tom Dempsey Tweet

“If local governments are going prevent qualified, MO businesses from bidding on public projects, expect #moleg to address the unfairness.”

 

 

Wright Jones for Reed

Lewis Reed files an amended report for his St. Louis mayoral race which showed that former state senator Robin Wright Jones (through her firm Arjen One LLC) was paid $1,500 for “community outreach consulting.”

 

 

Rupp Committee

Sen. Scott Rupp converted his secretary of state committee into a debt service committee – about $45K in debt there – and started a fresh candidate committee…. Statewide 2014… see it here.

 

 

Other Debts

These folks mostly “owe” money they lent to themselves…

 

Dave Spence - $4.6 million debt.

Susan Montee - $505K debt.

Bill Stouffer - $83K debt.

Brad Lager - $10K debt.

 

 

Duffy to Lead Dems

Joe Duffy was appointed the executive director of the Missouri Democratic Party.

 

“In 2012, Duffy served as the Statewide Field Director for Governor Jay Nixon’s re-election. Duffy got his start in Democratic politics working for then-Senator Barack Obama’s first Presidential campaign during the Iowa Caucuses and continued during the general election of 2008.”

 

 

Richardson Statement on Emerson Seat

Here’s the statement from Rep. Todd Richardson on his pursuit of Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson’s seat:

 

“I congratulate Congresswoman Emerson on her retirement from a long, successful career in Congress…

 

Republican leaders and ultimately the voters of Eighth District will be faced with a difficult choice as we select a new Representative in Congress during these challenging economic times.  Though many capable leaders may seek this office, I am honored by the encouragement I've received from across the district to seek this position.  With the prayerful support of my family, friends and supporters, I will explore the possibility of seeking this position, a position that is critical for the future of people across the Eighth District….

 

In the Missouri House, I've been committed to advancing a true conservative agenda whether by controlling spending, reforming labor laws, protecting animal agriculture or other vital issues.  I’ve sought to listen to and serve my constituents, and maintain a temperament that brings people together to forge conservative solutions to the problems we face.

 

I look forward to talking to and meeting citizens throughout the Eighth District to share my vision for our country as I make a decision about entering this race.”

 

 

Slogans to Sell

Who doesn’t like acronyms, alliteration, and mnemonic devices? The Senate has B-I-G for its agenda, the House has the three E-E-E, and now the Speaker’s running around talking about cut-cap-and-create for his tax credit plans. Herman Cain must be proud.

 

 

McCaskill: Give Me My iPad in the Air!

Dear Acting Administrator Huerta,

 

As the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) evaluates the in-flight use of portable electronic devices (PEDs), I urge the agency to embrace the expanded use of PEDs and work to revise the necessary regulations that will allow for the use of laptop computers, e-readers, smartphones and other PEDs during the full duration of a flight…

 

As you surely know, the public is growing increasingly skeptical of prohibitions on the use of many electronic devices during the full duration of a flight, while at the same time using such devices in increasing numbers.  For example, a traveler can read a paper copy of a newspaper throughout a flight, but is prohibited from reading the same newspaper for major portions of the flight when reading it on an e-reader.  The fear of devices that operate on electricity is dated, at best.  Importantly, such anachronistic policies undermine the public’s confidence in the FAA, thereby increasing the likelihood that rules of real consequence will be given too little respect.  The absurdity of the current situation was highlighted when the FAA acted earlier this year to allow tablet computers to replace paper flight manuals in the cockpit, further enhancing the public’s skepticism about the current regulations…

 

While the agency can and should use existing authorities to allow for the broader use of PEDs, I am prepared to pursue legislative solutions should progress be made too slowly.

 

 

Bits

As states look for middle ground in the question of whether to opt into the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, the Department of Health and Human Services says there’s no option for partial expansion.  Read it here.

 

 

JoAnne LaSala has joined Missouri Foundation for Health as chief of staff.

 

 

And… the cultural war against tobacco comes to Christmas… Read it here.

 

 

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

 

Mark J Bruns, Gary Burton, Andrew Foley, Dawn Heidbreder, Chris Liese and Don Soph added Innovative Tax Solutions.

Mark J Bruns, Gary Burton, Jim Foley and Chris Liese deleted H&R Block Management LLC.

 

Nancy Giddens, Shannon Cooper and Jessica Land added Public School Retirement System of the School District of Kansas City MO.

 

J Scott Marrs added Count On Coal / National Mining Association.

 

Jewell D. H. Patek added Parents As Teachers National Center.

 

Misty Snodgrass added American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

 

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Rep. Noel Torpey (41), Realtors’ Celeste Banks-Rueter , Pelopidas’ Kelly Sarka (34) and  Sreenu Dandamudi (40).