Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Q&A #1: Is The Tax Reform Package Revenue Neutral?

Short answer: That is your spin.

 

Post-Dispatch’s Kurt Erickson writes an article that will frustrate the living hell out of every Republican.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Despite multiple requests Monday and Tuesday for a breakdown on how the math works on the Republican governor’s so-called “revenue neutral” tax plan, it wasn't until more than 20 hours later that the Missouri Department of Revenue released an analysis showing how the plan might work.

It showed a total cut at an estimated $374.6 million, with most of the savings coming from a $210.7 million reduction in the individual income tax by dropping the tax rate for most filers to 5.3 percent, down from the current level of 5.9 percent.

Greitens spokesman Parker Briden said the numbers don't show other factors involved in the equation and contended the overall cut to taxpayers will be $800 million.

Asked to explain why the document showed only $374.6 million in cuts, Briden said, "That is your spin."

According to Will Schmitt’s twitter-pic (see it here) it’s not revenue neutral either – according to their own numbers.  (I haven’t seen the breakdown numbers despite my own various requests).

What This Means

Greitens appears incapable of executing a policy roll-out.  It’s the third example just from his latest State of State speech where the bold pronouncement is followed by mini-chaos.  The symbolic savings of $3,000 by not printing the budget that’s against the law; the critical civil service reform that hasn’t yet been explained; and now the tax reform which is late to the debate and apparently with numbers that don’t add up to its stated goal.

This is on top of December’s debacle of the State Board of Education – nominating, withdrawing, nominating, withdrawing – until any chance of a policy change was decimated.

Add in the distractions of the various scandals and investigations (affair, Mission Continues donor list, Confide/Sunshine, dark money non-profit), and Republicans are looking at a governor who is inadvertently derailing their conservative agenda.

 

Tipster: Donor Jets Greitens’ Tour

One MOScouter writes, “Governor Eric Greitens was using a supporter’s private jet to get to his tax tour stops on Tuesday – a luxury Cessna Citation 560XL with cruising speed of more than 500mph, zipping high above citizens navigating the deteriorating roads and bureaucrats having to pack more bodies into state cars because of his vehicle selloff. The jet, spotted and photographed at Joplin Regional Airport from whence Greitens flew to Kansas City, carries tail number N907WT. The aircraft is registered to OTS Aircraft Holdings LLC, 902 North Missouri Street in Macon, Mo. That’s the same address as Onshore Outsourcing, whose owner/CEO Shane Mayes is a Greitens pal and donor, serving on his inaugural committee….”

 

CMC for MMJ

According to Weed News, US Senator Claire McCaskill has come out in favor of medical marijuana.  See it here“I support medical marijuana in Missouri. I think it’s the right way to go.”

 

Chappelle-Nadal “Injects”

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal knocked SB 574 off the consent calendar.  It’s Sen. Wayne Wallingford’s bill on mandatory reporting of nursing home neglect.

Chappelle-Nadal’s letter… “Pursuant to Senate Rule 45, please remove the SCS/SB 574 from the Consent Calendar and return such to the Seniors, Families and Children committee.  While I take no issue with the underlying public policy of the legislation, (in fact, I wholeheartedly support increasing reporting requirements for sexual assault victims in long-term care facilities) I do take issue with the sponsor, who elected to interject himself into a public health matter situated wholly within my Senatorial District.  Specifically, the bill’s sponsor, despite living 126.2 miles away from the radioactive West Lake Landfill, signed a letter, dated October 1, 2017, to the Environmental Protection Agency that stated, in part, that there is “no evidence of health risks to individuals living or working in the vicinity of the (West Lake) landfill.”  Further, the letter expressed opposition to properly remedying this public health disaster that has killed, is killing, and, unless properly alleviated, will continue to kill my constituents.  For this reason, I choose to inject myself into this Senator’s business, which includes the consent status of the SCS/SB 574…”

 

St. Louis City Aldermen Chafe At Sinquefield Role

Celeste Bott reports that a majority of St. Louis City aldermen sent a letter (see it here) asking to remove Grow Missouri from the team of advisors exploring privatization of Lambert Airport.  They are concerned about Rex Sinquefield being to closely involved in the privatization effort.

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed – who is running for the President of the Board – issued a statement along the same lines days earlier.

And

Auditor Nicole Galloway will be in St. Louis today to announce that her office will be conducting an audit of City government.  The airport is likely going to be part of that audit, and may inject some new facts into the privatization debate when it’s published.

 

Bits

The Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC), known as the “Conscience of the Republican Party” endorsed Austin Petersen for U.S. Senate in Missouri. The National Board voted unanimously to endorse Petersen in the GOP Primary.

 

Rep. Derek Grier was appointed to the House Committee on Professional Registration and

Licensing.  He replaces Rep. Cloria Brown.

 

Post-Dispatch reports that George Soros is a mega-donor behind the ethics and redistricting initiative petition.  See it here.

 

Sen. Bob Onder has filed a bill dealing with how health insurers deal with emergency room coverage.  See the latest reporting on the issue from Vox here.

 

eMailbag on MOScout RTW Poll

The other explanation for the difference in results is that when what "right-to-work" is, outlined in the ballot question, is in front of them people are more negative on it than when given the generic term which some may think is giving people a right to a job.  At least that's what some other polling has indicated.

 

New Committees

Karla Eslinger formed a candidate committee (Citizens To Elect Karla Eslinger) to run for House 155 as a Republican.  The current incumbent Lyle Rowland is termed.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Christopher Cox added Humane Society of Missouri.

Jessica Hoey added Missouri Community Action Network.

Sean Ostrow added DraftKing Inc, FanDuel Inc, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Clara Carroll Rodriguez added Alzheimer's Association.

Sarah Schlemeier added Amreristar Casino Hotel Kansas City Inc, Ameristar Casino St. Charles Inc, Kansas City Missouri, Missouri Association Of Councils Of Government, and Special School District Of St. Louis County

Bridget Sharpe added Professional Beauty Association.

Shlomo Soroka added Agudath Israel Of America, Agudath Israel Of Illinois

Eapen Thampy added Patrick Welch and One Gro Investments.

 

$5K+ Contributions

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $6,000 from Friends of Todd Richardson.

We Are Missouri - $20,000 from United Food & Commercial Workers Local 653.

We Are Missouri - $10,000 from UFCW Local 455.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $10,000 from Isle of Capri Casino Boonville.

We Are Missouri - $25,000 from UFCW Region Council 6.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former Sen. Robin Wright-Jones.