MOScout Daily Update: Structural Deficit? - Charter Day? - MO Works Filibustered Again - Justice All In - Klindt Promoted - Munzy to Parole Board and more...

Revenue Numbers Cause Concern

The daily revenue numbers are not looking pretty this month.  These numbers can be volatile, and the next four weeks leading up to April 15 will have a very big impact.  However, if you’re not concerned, you’re not watching.

The March numbers so far are down nearly 20%.  Although the refund expenditures are lower – as has been expected because of the withholding snafu – overall tax receipts are still floundering.  The bottom-line: fiscal year-to-date net revenues (as of close of business March 11) were 5.6% below 2018 or $348 million less than the previous year.

What It Means

The real concern here isn’t that we miss this year’s number. This year’s shortfall can be absorbed by last year’s cash surplus.  The fear is that Missouri has a structural deficit, and the withholding debacle is a distraction.  If that’s the case, using the cash surplus is a one-time fix.  It’s not a long-term solution. 

 

Driving the Day… Charters Ahead?

Lobbyists on both sides of the charter school debate were working furiously yesterday, leading to speculation that Rep. Rebecca Roeber’s HB 581 will come for a vote today on the House floor.

The rumor is that the bill will be scaled back so that the charter expansion will only include St. Louis County. And that change will entice some previously reluctant rural Republican Reps to back the bill.

We’ll see….

 

Missouri Works Filibustered

Senate conservatives did it again yesterday, filibustering SB 56, the Missouri Works expansion. This is part of Governor Mike Parson’s economic development agenda.  He mentioned it in his state of the State and even renamed the program, “Missouri One Start.”  It’s being carried by the affable Sen. Mike Cierpiot.  I’d have pegged this bill as easy sailing in the legislature, but conservatives have targeted it.  They are painting it as an unnecessary government program – and are presumably using it as leverage for their own workforce development agenda: school choice. Stay tuned…

 

Justice in the Building

Southeast power-broker Eddy Justice was in the building yesterday meeting with legislators, lobbyists and others, talking about his Senate 25 bid (Libla termed).  He’s all in for the race, undeterred by talk of other possible entrants.

 

Kingdom Principles Continues Hiring Spree

The effort to revise the process for investigating sexual assault on college campuses continues, and the proponents, organized under the non-profit Kingdom Principles, continued their hiring spree adding Brian “Mr. Hustle” Bernskoetter, and Thomas Robbins.  That brings the number of lobbyists employed by Kingdom up to 23.

Meanwhile

The House Judiciary Committee last night passed out a new version of Rep. Dean Dohrman’s HB 573.  Among the changes was one striking of the retroactivity clause.  The capitol has been buzzing with rumors that those pushing this had a personal interest in reversing a previous action.  By eliminating that provision, those fears were mitigated.

 

Klindt Promoted

From LinkedIn… Jason Klindt is now the Director of Government Affairs for Evergy (the merged KCP&L and Westar Company).  He is in charge of federal, state and local GA and oversees all of the company’s in-house and contract lobbyists in Washington D.C., Missouri and Kansas.

 

Brown, Schroer, DeGroot…

Post-Dispatch reports on capitol folks acting foolishly (see it here)…

As Missouri lawmakers debated a plan last week to allow people to carry firearms in more public places, Jefferson City police arrested the top aide to a Phelps County state senator after the man told police his gun fell to the floor during a fight at a capital city watering hole.

That same night, in a separate incident at another bar, two members of the House were in an altercation that left one of them with a black eye…

In the case of the senator's aide, police responded to Spectator's Bar and Grill in downtown Jefferson City shortly before 12:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. Police said that during a barroom altercation, a 9 mm Ruger pistol loaded with five rounds fell to the floor…

Cole County officials confirmed Jared Brown, 45, of Malden, was booked into jail after the incident. He has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon and use of a loaded weapon while intoxicated…

In the other incident, Republican Reps. Nick Schroer of O’Fallon and Bruce DeGroot of Chesterfield say their physical altercation was an “accident.” Schroer said the two were “joking around” and wrestling at the Eagles Club in Jefferson City on Wednesday…

 

Munzy To Parole Board

Governor Mike Parson appointed former Sen. Brian Munzlinger to the Board of Probation and Parole.  “Mr. Munzlinger operates a third generation row crop farm with his wife, daughter, and son-in-law. He recently termed out as State Senator of the 18th District after a 16-year career in the Missouri Legislature, where he served in both the House of Representatives and Senate. During his time in the Senate, he served on numerous committees and was a member of Senate leadership. Mr. Munzlinger is a member of the Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Corn Growers Association, and the Missouri Soybean Association.”

And

Other gubby appointments…

Richard L. Ebersold and Alan Landes were appointed to the Missouri Western State University Board of Governors.

Vernon Vito Bracy, Victor Barnett Pasley, and Richard Popp were appointed to the Lincoln University Board of Trustees.

Sherry Jones, Kevin Roberts, and Lowell Mohler were reappointed to the State Fair Commission.

Mary Sheid was appointed to the State Board of Education.

 

Ethics Drama Continues

According to yesterday’s House Journal Reps. Gina Mitten and Martha Stevens has recused themselves from the on-going ethics complaint (HEC 19-001) because the “Respondent… has filed an objection to my participation.”

Minority Leader Crystal Quade appointed Reps. Tracy McCreery and Robert Sauls as temporary members “for the sole purpose” of considering the case.

 

Soybeaners Don’t Love Trump Budget

MO Soybean Association is speaking out against the proposed budget from President Donald TrumpSee it here.

From crop insurance to conservation programs and transportation, President Trump’s proposed budget would significantly slash programs vital to the soybean industry.  Cuts to crop insurance and farm subsidies would be deep, totaling $28 billion over 10 years. This would directly impact soy growers in several ways: The majority of those savings would come from reducing the portion of farmers’ crop insurance premiums covered by taxpayers from 62 percent down to 48 percent. And, the President’s budget proposes to reduce the cap on Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) for recipients of Title I program payments from $900,000 to $500,000. This provision was included in the Senate version of the new Farm Bill and was not adopted by the Conference Committee… ASA is also very concerned the Trump Administration’s budget proposal includes reductions to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers programs that support inland waterways infrastructure.

 

Amoret Audit Shows Little to No Progress

Press release: State Auditor Nicole Galloway has released a report on the city of Amoret showing limited progress has been made on recommendations from a 2017 audit that gave a rating of “poor.” Auditors returned to the small Bates County town (pop. 190) to assess whether city officials had addressed the concerns with the city’s financial processes and lack of oversight… Overall, the report found that controls over receipting, recording and depositing had actually become worse since completion of the audit.  The progress report found only two of the 20 recommendations reviewed were implemented. City officials had not addressed eight of the recommendations nor made specific plans to act on them. The other recommendations were either partially implemented or in progress…

See the audit here.

Amoret is represented by Sen. Ed Emery and Rep. Patricia Pike.

 

$5K+ Contributions

General Motors Company PAC Missouri - Federal Committee - $20,000 from General Motors Company Political Action Committee.

Committee To Elect Tom Bauer - $10,000 from Tom Bauer.

Stand Up Missouri - $5,625 from Security Finance of Missouri, LLC.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Thomas Robbins, Joe Lakin and Brian Bernskoetter added Kingdom Principles Inc.

Guy Black added Northrop Grumman.

Jeffrey Brooks, David Jackson, Cynthia Gamble, Kathryn Gamble, William Gamble, Jorgen Schlemeier, Sarah Schlemeier, Sarah Topp, and Olivia Wilson added American Subcontractor Association of Greater Kansas City.

Danny Pfeifer, Greg Porter, Alex Eaton, and Rebecca Lohmann added The Parking Spot.

Steven Tilley and Thomas Robbins added The Trinity Company LLC.

Sherry Doctorian added Midwest Transplant Network.

Tom Hall added Orscheln Management Co.

Michael Kelley added The Kelley Group.

Dale Ludwig added Missouri Hemp Association and Missouri Organic Assn.

Noel Torpey added Pleasant Hill Protection District.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Rep. Brad Hudson.