O’Laughlin Questions Bonding
On Facebook Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin posted some “beginning thoughts on the Governor's budget proposal.”
He is suggesting we borrow $350 million for roads and bridges. I support prioritizing roads and bridges but I would suggest we cut other areas of the budget rather than take on more debt. So of course the difficulty is in deciding where to cut and yes I do have some thoughts on that.
He is suggesting we give all state employees a 3% raise… I am not saying we don't have employees who deserve a raise and I believe we lose our best employees to the private sector. However, to place ourselves in a financially sound position we must acknowledge the reality that we have too many employees to begin with… At this time the private sector is begging for employees and this is the time to start transitioning to a leaner more efficient government….
Colona Does Holts Summit?
It looks like former St. Louis City Rep. Mike Colona is standing by to serve as a fill-in Holts Summit municipal judge. See it here. “The aldermen also held a first reading of an ordinance appointing Michael Colona to serve as the alternate municipal court judge, in case of Hanrahan's absence…”
One MOScouter: “Long way from the Lou!”
Greitens GC Back to Graves
Eric Greiten’s general counsel, Lucinda Luetkemeyer, is back at the law firm of Graves Garrett. See it here. Lucinda rejoined Graves Garrett LLC after most recently serving as general counsel to Missouri’s governor. As the administration’s top lawyer, she was the chief legal officer for the executive branch, providing legal counsel to the governor, executive staff, and cabinet officials…
Luetkemeyer’s husband is Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer.
Aycock Buys Part of Minor League NBA Team
On Twitter, Dem donor Barry Aycock says he’s become part-owner in a minor league basketball team. See it here. “It’s official today! The Aycock Family officially became part of the @dallasmavs family today. Ownership interest in the @TexasLegends…”
MOScout Poll: Selected House Bills
Survey conducted January 16 through January 17, 2019. 865 likely 2020 General Election voters participated in the survey. Margin of Error is +/-3.4%. See the full results here.
Q1: HB 577 requires school districts to display "In God We Trust" in prominent locations in all schools.
Not sure: 13%
Q2: HB 518 prohibits persons under 18 years of age from using any tanning device of any tanning facility in this state.
Not sure: 24%
Q3: HB 500 increases the annual registration fee for motor vehicles with fuel efficiency rating greater than 29 miles per gallon.
Not sure: 25%
Q4: HB 446 requires every law enforcement agency to have a written policy regarding the investigation of officer-involved deaths. The investigators conducting an investigation must provide a complete report to the local prosecutor in which the officer-Involved death occurred.
Not sure: 14%
Q5: HB 378 makes Missouri income taxes due on June 15, 2019 for individuals who timely file an individual tax return for the 2019 tax year, with an outstanding tax liability of less than $200.
Not sure: 36%
MOScout’s Hallway Index: Budget Fears?
I asked the MOScout hallway dwellers to tell me how concerned they are about the state budget? 26 responses…
1. Very worried… 26.9%
2.Somewhat worried… 26.9%
3. Not worried… 7.7%
4. Worried about longer term… 38.5%
Sample of Comments
· Not worried right now. Nearly everyone is taking their cue from those at the top who don’t seem to be worried. However, if those people are wrong, it becomes a huge deal and could drive a very big wedge between the legislature and the 2nd floor. Legislative leaders are not going to take any blame (although there is plenty to go around), so the buck gets passed to the executive. At the very least, heads will roll at DoR.
· Macro indicators support the current collections being nothing more than errors in withholdings. Therefore, I don't see a major shortfall issue this year. However, Missouri will continue to [rank] 40-something in every category if we don't properly fund state government. I find it hard to believe the average Missourian is concerned about a .1 or .2 % reduction in their state income tax. Perhaps we can use additional revenue that may be generated by current proposals to fix roads, invest in data infrastructure, reduction in recidivism, enhancing foster care services…
· [Why] isn’t our state booming like every other state? And what will this look like when the inevitable downturn comes?
· Very worried. It’s possible we will hit a recession soon, and we can’t hit revenue targets in good times. Prior legislatures have decimated revenues for short-term political wins that haven’t translated into long-term economic wins…
Who Won the Week?
Mike Parson - Not known for being an orator, but his first State of the State speech was solid with substantive policy proposals (and no scandals to distract from his message).
Elijah Haahr and Dave Schatz – Strong starts with minimal grumbling from rank and file about committee assignments.
Becky Ruth and Patricia Pike - First women to chair their respective committees. Pike has first bill heard, and it was done in Ruth’s committee. Double win.
House Sophomores – Did well on committee assignments. General Laws, Judiciary, Economic Development and Fiscal Review are all chaired by sophomores.
Senate Freshmen – Three freshmen landed committee chairmanships. Plus, Lincoln Hough’s vice-chairmanship of Appropriations is a big win for the Springfield freshman.
Scott Fitzpatrick - Gets sworn in and hires away some of the building’s best talent.
Jolie Justus – Raising over $200K in the fourth quarter, more than all her competitors combined, makes Justus the front-runner in her KC mayoral bid.
eMailbaggers Reject DOR Defense
Your emailer has a lot of apologies for the DOR, despite their repeated and continued incompetence. Last session it was fiscal notes, now it’s tax tables. I wonder what important task they will bungle next….
Re the comment on DOR’s “taxpayer friendly” mistake: taxpayers may not appreciate receiving a smaller refund that they expect or owing an amount for which they haven’t budgeted. It wil feel more like a tax burden… The department has also done a poor job of aking this know to the public. With friends like these…
Missouri Leadership Forum - $7,500 from Drury Development Corporation.
Midwest Region Laborers' Political League Education Fund - $6,639 from Laborers Supplemental Dues Fund.
MO Insurance Coalition PAC - $10,000 from Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.
No MOScout Monday (MLK Day), see you Tuesday…