Friday, March 4 , 2011

February Revenue Continues Trajectory

Yesterday the Office of Administration released the February state revenue numbers.  They were as expected right in line with last month’s.  Revenues are now up 6.2% fiscal year to date over FY2010.


I’ve said this before, and will point it out again… Revenues are well ahead of the estimate, 3.6%.  The governor’s office is continuing its withholds to plug into next year’s budget not because of revenue shortfalls. 


Constitutionally, that’s a decision the state legislature should have to sign off on.  Otherwise it’s just a line-item veto that can’t be overridden.



Tuesday is K-Day

Sen-elect Kiki Curls becomes Sen. Kiki Curls on Tuesday next week, not a moment too soon… The Democratic Caucus has been working like an ER staff, its triage this session.  They know they can’t save everyone.  So they are making decisions as they go along, determining where to cut deals, where to surrender, where to make their stand. 


Curls will be a valuable addition.  She’s a young set of legs for future filibusters, but also has a reputation from the House as a core liberal with a winsome personality that allows her to work across the aisle.



Dem Senate Caucus Staying Small?

Those pondering the state senate lines to come see the possibility of an era of GOP dominance.  Privately Democrats feel better about their Senate Commission nominees than their House ones, so it’s yet to be seen if Republicans can crack their ranks.


If they can, though, the previously tentative districts in St. Louis County (Sens. Jim Lembke, Eric Schmitt and John Lamping) can all be moved further from the city and solidified for the GOP.


Meanwhile the two rural districts which were lost last cycle (Sens. Wes Shoemyer and Frank Barnitz) might just be gone.  Says one Republican, they have no farm team in those districts, we’ve done a good job winning the House races in those places depriving them of a candidate with a base.  Additionally folks this Rep. Ryan Silvey is positioning to be a lock in Sen. Luann Ridgeway’s district regardless of how those lines go.  And Sen. Bill Stouffer’s district has continued to trend Republican.


The question marks are:

Sen. Kurt Schaefer’s Boone County district which has seen nice growth.  How will that be split?


Sen. Rob Mayer’s district which if it moves north could end up in Democrat Rep. Terry Swinger’s hands.


And Sen. Kevin Engler’s district which is really Democratic, and unless Republicans can find a similar cross-over candidate will probably come home to Dems.



Congressional Map Impossible to Imagine Right Now

From those who are seriously contemplating the congressional maps… The new eight districts will look radically different.  Most people don’t grasp that with the loss of a district and modest growth in overall population, each district will have to grow substantially.  Start with, for example, Rep. Sam Graves’ 6th District.  One source rolls their eyes, there just aren’t any people around there, you’d have to stretch it entirely across the top of the state, or he comes down to Kansas City, and so then how does that affect Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s district?




Linda Rallo, legislative assistant/stenographer to Rep. Cole McNary, is moving on after session.  She’ll be joining Enterprise’s governmental affairs team.



Rumors that Pro Tem Rob Mayer’s law firm does work for Noranda, creating a conflict of interest concerning the so-called CWIP-lite bill, are not true.



Mayer referred both Sen. Mike Kehoe’s new “CWIP-lite” bill (SB321) and Sen. Brad Lager’s SB359 (identical to SB321, he presumably hoped it’d be sent to his Commerce Committee) to Sen. Jason Crowell’s Emerging Issues Committee.



Sen. David Pearce’s foundation formula change bill – SB247 – had its hearing this week, featuring the massive brain of Don Thalhuber.  No one testified in favor or against.  Seems folks are all trying to see how the money flow would actually affect their school district across a spectrum of funding possibilities before committing.  This is point where ideology flees and it’s all about the money.



This week when Missouri Right to Life testified against the MOSIRA legislation, Sen. Ron Richard unleashed a fireball their way saying that as long as he’d been in Jefferson City they’d opposed every jobs bill.  “I’ve never seen a more negative group in my whole life… I hope you work with the senator in good faith but I doubt you will.”



Sen. Brad Lager’s successful handling of the employment discrimination bill in the Senate should help his relationship with some business groups in his anticipated 2012 rematch against Treasurer Clint Zweifel.  His continuing tax credit machinations, not so much.



Today’s employment numbers – private sector adding 220,000 jobs, unemployment easing to 8.9% - are great news for 2012 Dems.  Unemployment might only get to 7.5-8% by November 2012, but it’s direction, not placement.   President Barack Obama’s numbers will get the lift and other Dems will go with them.



Concession of the Day

Sen. Jim Lembke: “The federal government doesn’t do anything well… except… you know, war.”  See it Here.



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Bardgett and Associates added Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America Inc.  

Stinson Morrison added Correctional Medical Services.  

Ilalyn Irwin added Bluebird Network.

Charles Myers added Golden Valley Memorial Hospital. 

Joseph Pierle and Danny O’Neill added Missouri Community Health Foundation.

David Winton added The Millstone Company.

Dale Amick deleted Missouri Vallet Equipment Association, Northeast Missouri Grain LLC, and Golden Triangle Energy.

J Kent Lowry deleted The Doe Run Company, The Williams Companies, and Barber Foods.

Ginger Steinmetz deleted Humane Society of Missouri.



5k+ Contributions

Save Kansas City Committee - $10,000 from AFSCME.

Friends of Peter Kinder - $10,000 from James Hebenstreit.

MO Democratic State Committee - $5,400 from Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee.

Slay for Mayor - $10,000 from Peabody Investments Corp.

MO Beverage PAC - $7,173 from Coca-Cola Refreshments.

Citizens for Nash - $25,000 from Terrence Nash.




Happy birthday to PSRS/PEERS’ Maria Cauwenbergh Walden.


Saturday, Reps. Rochelle Walton Gray and Paul Fitzwater (52); and Build-a-Bear’s Maxine Clark.


And Sunday, it’s Kit Bond (72), RCGA’s Christine Snively (26), Chuck Simino and Todd Patterson.



MOScout News

I’ll be doing spring cleaning this weekend which includes scrubbing the subscription list.  So if you suddenly don’t get the morning emails, let me know.  Sometimes my cleanings get messy by accident…


Also, be warned,  I’ll be conducting an “audit” during the next week.  So as a friendly reminder: NO Sharing passwords.  If you need to add someone in your organization, let me know.  Shared passwords will be disabled.  Zap!