The freeze that has kept the Senate from passing several of the governor’s priorities appears to be thawing…
· Yesterday they perfected Sen. Wayne Wallingford’s SB 184 which makes changes to the Missouri Works program. It’s scaled-back version of Sen. Mike Cierpiot’s SB 56 which has been repeatedly filibustered. One observer explained: “[Cierpiot’s] is more of a closing fund and this one is more of a pilot job training program.” The Conservative Caucus could apparently live with this – and it gives the governor a piece of what he’s looking for.
· And there’s rumors of that additionally a version of bonding will pass today, indicating a thaw is underway. We’ll see what the final bonding compromise looks like, but don’t be surprised if it’s not the entire amount that the governor asked for, and if there are some conditions (like only allowed upon successful award of a federal grant).
· It’s not entirely Springtime yet though in the Senate. The remaining portions of MOWorks changes appear to be to a successful resolution on the question of implementing Wayfair.
· And I’m not sure where charter expansion and PDMP stand – two big issues for the Conservative Caucus.
Tepid Support for House Tax Bill
Meanwhile on Tuesday, the House perfected their version of Wayfair (internet sales tax). It aimed to offset the revenue collected with cuts to the state’s income tax. But many House Republicans balked at the proposal. And it was barely perfected with only 78 yes votes. That’s short of the 82 constitutional majority it would need for passage. And one lobbyist tells me that several yes votes have since waffled into no territory.
The reasons for the Republican defections were varied. One observer told me that the mechanisms in the bill were flawed. Another blamed the bill sponsor, Rep. J Eggleston, for not “working it” when the bill had some built-in opposition (“Corporations don't want tax increases, educrats don't like tax cuts”).
But most folks said it was a fear of putting the budget into a more precarious situation. “They're not trusting math (fiscal note). The concern is that the decrease in income tax would be greater than the wayfair increase…”
Daily Revenue Numbers
As of close of business April 9, net general revenue collections were down -3.75%, or $258 million, from a year ago. But the Department of Revenue notes that “Due to system report errors, the Department did not transfer sales tax monies on April 9. The transfer will be made on April 10.” That’s probably at least a couple million dollars.
Hurlbert in House 12
Republican Smithville Alderman Josh Hurlbert announced he’s running for House 12 where Rep. Ken Wilson is termed.
The press release: “As a state representative, Hurlbert vows to support measures that will help our state’s infrastructure and small business… Other issues important to Hurlbert include topics such as tort reform, focusing state spending and maintaining Missouri's low tax status, protecting the right-to-life for the unborn, and upholding the second amendment. Hurlbert grew up in Kearney before settling in Smithville in 2007. After graduating from Park University, Hurlbert began working for Congressman Sam Graves, where he continues to serve as the Field Representative Manager. Hurlbert was first elected to the Smithville Board of Alderman in 2018 and is also the Past President of the Smithville Rotary Club, where he has been a member since 2011. Hurlbert also serves as an Elder at Desperation Church in Liberty… Hurlbert has retained Axiom Strategies to consult his campaign…”
The hits keep coming for St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner….
· Post-Dispatch reports that “lawyers from three firms are representing Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner in a pending grand jury perjury probe of an ex-FBI agent hired last year to investigate former Gov. Eric Greitens. But it’s not clear whether Gardner’s office has valid contracts with any of those firms or if her office has filed them with the city’s register as required by state law…”
· News Tribune reports that “the Missouri Supreme Court has denied a request from the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office to block a grand jury search warrant that is part of a perjury investigation of William Tisaby… The search warrant seeks six months of emails and other electronic data. Gardner has called it burdensome and unconstitutionally broad.”
Governor Mike Parson appointed David Michael Malecki, Republican, as the Southern District
Commissioner of the Benton County Commission; and David L. Smith, of Christian County, to the Missouri Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors, and Professional Landscape Architects.
UFCW Local 655 Elect Club - $6,043 from UFCW Local 655.
MO Opportunity PAC - $15,000 from Thirty & 141 LP.
Civic Progress Action Committee - $7,500 from Post Holdings Inc.
Alex Eaton, Rebecca Lohmann, Danny Pfeifer, Greg Porter and David Willis added Show Me Spin Gaming.
Tom McMahon added Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.
Brian Todd Rabineau added Port KC (Port Authority of Kansas City, Missouri).
Steven Tilley and Thomas Robbins added Protection Plus LLC.
Trent Watson added EDF Renewables.
Kurt Spencer Wittenauer deleted Rockwood Asset Maagement.
Happy birthdays to Dave Leipholtz, Heidi Kolkmeyer, Mik Chester, and Steve Roberts Sr.