Eigel Files Alternative to Bonding
Sen. Bill Eigel filed SJR 27. It establishes the "Bridge and Road Authorization Trust Fund." This apparently is the Conservative Caucus’ alternative to Governor Mike Parson’s bonding proposal to fund bridge repair across the state.
According to the summary: At the end of each fiscal year, immediately following any transfers to the Budget Reserve Fund required under the Constitution, the Treasurer shall transfer to the fund 50% of the remaining balance of the General Revenue Fund. The fund shall stand appropriated without legislative action to be used by the Highways and Transportation Commission, with 80% split evenly between congressional districts, and remaining funds to be used only for projects constructing, maintaining, or improving highways designated as arterial roads by the federal Department of Transportation. All projects for which disbursements are made shall be included on the Department of Transportation's Statewide Transportation Improvement Program.
What It Means
This is the prelude to a Conservative Caucus floor “discussion” on the bonding resolution. They’re trying to offer an alternative that doesn’t involve paying $100 million in interest. Politically, it’s unrealistic that the governor, after barnstorming the state to explain his plan, would retreat from their plan and embrace the any alternative. Still it will give the fiscal hawks a talking point.
What to Watch For
Can the conservatives expand their coalition opposing the bonding plan to force a compromise?
DOR “Changes Story”
Columbia Daily Tribune’s Tess Vrbin reports (see it here) on yesterday’s testimony in the House Committee on Government Oversight.
“Department of Revenue Director Joel Walters said Wednesday he was wrong to blame it on a long-undiscovered error in tax withholding. There was actually never was an error, Walters said in testimony before the House Special Committee on Government Oversight. Walters first blamed the precipitous drop in state revenue since July 1 on long-time withholding error in an interview with the Tribune, then repeated that to the House Budget Committee in January. Walters credited recently installed State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick for correcting him…”
This latest twist comes just one week after Governor Mike Parson stood by the Greitens appointee, and dismissed the legislature’s hearings as “grandstanding.”
The impact of this episode is still coming. According to budget projections, there’s about $300 million in higher tax bills, lower refunds, that will be hitting largely unsuspecting Missourians in the next six weeks.
Reps. Phil Christofanelli and Curtis Trent filed new resolutions dealing with redistricting. HJR 46 (Christofanelli) “modifies provisions for redistricting and lobbying,” and HJR 47 (Trent) “modifies provisions for redistricting and lobbyist gifts.”
What It Means
Missouri Republicans have made no secret of their desire to overturn the redistricting portion of last year’s CLEAN Missouri plan. But it’s unclear if Republicans have settled on what “ballot candy” will be attached to the redistricting change to entice voters to approve the measure. These resolutions create two new vehicles.
Post-Dispatch reports that “Missouri's gross domestic product -- the value of all goods and services produced in the state -- rose 2.9 percent in the July-September period while Illinois' rose 2.5 percent. U.S. GDP rose 3.4 percent, the second-best quarterly number in the past three years. [But] the agricultural sector posted steep declines in output -- down 41 percent in Missouri and 48 percent in Illinois -- as farmers suffered from low commodity prices, partly because of an international trade war…”
· Brent Martin, former long-time Missourinet Capitol reporter, posts on Facebook: I am thrilled to announce I have accepted the position of news director for Eagle St. Joseph, a return to KFEQ Radio (plus other stations which were not a part of the company when I last worked there). This is a homecoming for Tami and me… I thoroughly enjoyed my work as news director of Nebraska Radio Network. Learfield Communications decided to cease news operations in Nebraska, leaving me without a job.
· It looks like Saundra McDowell, former auditor candidate turned political consultant, is helping Chadwick Bicknell in his campaign against incumbent Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer. See it here. Bicknell ran against Luetkemeyer last year, winning 20% of the vote.
· Protesters blocked the street outside a fundraiser for Mayor Lyda Krewson last night to show their disapproval for the proposed city-county merger.
Governor Mike Parson appointed Thomas O. Kuypers and Robert Paul Wiegers to the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; and Kenneth J. Schmidt to the Missouri Propane Safety Commission.
Kyle Yarber formed a candidate committee (Kyle Yarber For A Better Missouri) to run for House 15 as a Democrat.
Joseph Jackson formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Joseph Jackson) to run for Kansas City Council Person District 3.
Regional Leadership PAC - $10,000 from 5051 Southwest LLC.
MO Opportunity PAC - $10,000 from Husch Blackwell LLP.
Committee To Elect Reed - $10,000 from Laborers Union Local #110 Voluntary Political Fund.
Thomas Robbins and Steven Tilley added G.J. Grewe Brokerage & Development.
Matthew Dennis Alsager added Kinetic Solutions LLC, and Kingdom Principles Inc.
Richard McIntosh added Kingdom Principles Inc.
Happy birthday to Rep. Steve Butz.