MOScout Daily Update: The New Senate Battle Lines - Schaaf's New Non-Profits - Merger = Mo State Revenue? - Blacks Under-Represented on Judicial Commission and more...

The Senate’s Intra-GOP Split

We’re early into the session, and the Senate’s coalition lines can shift depending on issue, but… right now it looks like one particular rift may shape the landscape of the body over the next couple of months: The Conservative Caucus vs The Rebels.

While this is a GOP-on-GOP rumble, it’s still quite different from previous session which have been defined by a battle between Republican leadership and Republican dissidents.

It’s yet to be seen how leadership will handle this split.

There were two confrontations between the Conservative Caucus and the rebels (Sens. Doug Libla and Gary Romine) this week.  And one source thinks we’ll see more fights between these two groups over education reform.  In fact, the Conservative Caucus’ aim is to advance Educational Saving Accounts.  “Without ESAs moving, it's unlikely Fast Track [sponsored by Romine] ever gets back on track.” 

As Senate leadership deals with this spat here are a few points to consider. 

·         Romine refusing to lay his bill over this week, and forcing leadership to use a parliamentary procedure to put the bill into the pro tem’s control, likely didn’t make leadership feel like doing the rebels any special favors.

·         But the Conservative Caucus, which may disrupt quick passage of the bonding resolution when it comes to floor, could prove to be as much a headache.

 

Schaaf Formed 501c(3) and 501c(4)

Former Sen. Rob Schaaf has formed two, apparently related, non-profit organizations.  According to paperwork filed with the Secretary of State’s office on February 11, Schaaf registered Show Me Integrity Education Fund, a 501c(3) and Show Me Integrity, a 501c(4).

 

Follow-up on Koenig Audible

Former staffer… “Not defending it, but it was common [years ago] to do committee amendments verbally.  Usually it would be ‘I’d like to add my SB x that we heard to the SCS’ and then amend the title if needed. I just realized knowing this shows how old I am...”

 

Blacks Underrepresented on Judicial Commission

One MOScouter tells me that African American attorneys, community leaders and elected officials in the City of St. Louis are losing patience with the make-up of the 22nd Judicial Commission.  There are five members on the commission which selects future judges in the city.  Three are white men; one is a white woman and one is a black man.  “For a city that is 60 percent black, 60 percent female [and] 90 percent of criminal defendants are black males between 17 and 35 years old, it is tragic.”  They want Governor Mike Parson to demonstrate he understands the importance of “creating a diverse judiciary.”

And

Press release: Pursuant to the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan and Supreme Court Rule 10.28(d), the 22nd Circuit Judicial Commission announces the following information relating to the applicants for the circuit judge vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Robin Ransom to the appeals court and the circuit judge vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Mark H. Neill… Christine A. Alsop, Kevin B. Anderson, Deborah M. Bird, John T. Bird, Steven J. Capizzi, Mary Pat Carl, Francisco J. Carretero, Nicole Colbert-Botchway, Michael J. Colona, Madeline O. Connolly, Matthew J. Devoti, Mary Entrup, Micah D. Hall, Bridget L. Halquist, Heather J. Hays, Craig K. Higgins, Heather Highland, Willian P. Hogan, Paul F. Horgan, Connie L. Johnson, Jessica W. Kennedy, Thomas A. McCarthy, Michael P. Mahon, Matthew C. Melton, Patrick L. Mickey, Patrick J. Monahan, Lynne R. Perkins, Deborah Lynn Price, Patrick E. Richmond, David A. Roither, Kristin E. Skelly, Calea Stovall-Reid, Larry D. Thomason Jr., Michael L. Walton, Lisl Elizabeth King Williams, and Rochelle M. Woodiest…

The members of the Twenty-Second Circuit Judicial Commission are: Lisa P. Page, chief judge of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, and chairman of the commission; Rita L. Burlison, J. Brent Dulle, Andre Harris, and Bryan J. Sanger.

 

Follow-Up on Merger Financials

Proponents of a merger between St. Louis City and St. Louis County governments are promising that their plan will bring in more money to the state coffers.  In addition to the billions of dollars in savings that their merger would wring out of duplicative overhead and inefficiencies in services, Better Together estimates an additional $40 million in state revenue generated over ten years.

Why It Matters

If their calculations are validated it could create a positive fiscal note and make the proposal more attractive to statewide voters…

 

Refund Watch

Yesterday DOR Director Joel Walters told the Special Committee on Government Oversight that on average Missouri tax refunds are running $80 less per return this year.

And

According to the volatile daily numbers, as of the close of business February 19, refund expenditures are about 9% less than they were at this time of the month last year.

Overall, we’re still $335 million behind where we were a year ago on net general revenue.

 

Bits

·         Governor Mike Parson appointed Glen Nelson as the Northern District Commissioner of the Benton County Commission.

·         Deputy Commissioner Stacey Preis is leaving DESE at the end of the month. “Dr. Preis has accepted a position with a new policy research group.”

 

New Committees

Emily Weber formed a candidate committee (Emily Weber For Missouri) to run for House 24 as a Democrat.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Brandon Alexander added Missouri State Treasurer's Office.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Ford Motor Company Civic Action Fund - MO - $25,000 from Ford Motor Company Civic Action Fund.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Rep. Donna Baringer, Craig Unruh, Jo Mannies, Harry Kennedy, Steve Stenger and B.J. Marsh.