New Bonding Plan Passes
The Senate passed a moderately scaled back infrastructure package with $301 million in debt to be paid back over 7 years.
Governor Mike Parson cheered the news: I appreciate the collaborative efforts by the Senate and the House on this shared priority and am encouraged by the important step taken today to get an infrastructure plan on my desk this Session… we certainly understand that any proposed plan requires compromise to reach a workable solution.
What It Means
One veteran observer looking beyond the immediate inside-the-bubble talk to the big picture: “They’ve crossed the longstanding invisible bridge to accepting the notion of using general revenues for bridges and roads, irrespective of how they go about using or leveraging the GR dollars. That shows widespread acceptance of the pressing need, which is what Prop D accomplished even as it fell short at the polls - getting across the urgency, the need and the inexorable fact that inflation has eaten away at the static spending power of America’s lowest gas tax.”
Anti-Eminent Domain Bill Picks Up Steam
What It Means
This bill is on the House’s perfection calendar. Don’t be surprised to see floor action next week.
One lobbyist slyly asks how the Speaker’s beloved Hyperloop will span the state without eminent domain… “What's Hyperloop going to do? Call themselves a railroad?” Answer: The speaker won’t be speaker when Hyperloop is facing that hurdle down the road.
MMJ Roll-Out Continues
The Department of Health and Senior Services continues to roll-out the bureaucratic infrastructure to implement and manage the medical marijuana industry. Up now on its webpage…
· Members of the advisory committees. See it here.
· “Draft Facility License Application Questions” See it here.
· “Draft Criteria Scoring Table” See it here.
Time for Digital “Paid For”?
This recent Missouri Ethic Commission decision to dismiss a complaint was based, in part, on the fact that “Missouri statues do not require ‘paid-for-by’ disclosures on digital media, such as Facebook…”
Maybe it’s time to revise our ethics law to add a “paid for” requirement to digital ads…
Daily Revenue Numbers
The latest numbers (close of business April 10) are still sobering… down $271 million or -3.92%.
Fear of Fiscal Notes
Some believe that the inability of the House’s HB 548 to garner 82 votes on a perfect motion was driven by a fear that the fiscal notes on the bill might be inaccurate.
Of course, it’s not easy to project real world impact of changes in policy. Econometrics is one of those disciplines which appears to be precise in its methodology, but amounts to educated guesswork.
It could be that legislators – looking at weak revenue numbers (see above) – are taking heed of Auditor Nicole Galloway’s “stress test” audit which warned of budget pitfalls. See it here.
She noted that when the legislature takes action which cut revenues (either purposefully or mistakenly), they can’t easily reverse that action.
“The limitations placed on the legislature by the Hancock Amendment do not allow legislators and policymakers the flexibility to reverse cuts to revenue that may exceed expectations. Once laws are passed to reduce revenue, in the form of tax rate reductions, sales tax exemptions, or otherwise, revenues cannot be increased above the Section 18(e) threshold via legislative changes without a public vote…”
It reminds me of the wood-working adage: measure twice, cut once.
Chambers Get RSLC Spot
The press release: The Board of Directors of the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) today announced the selection of Austin Chambers as the RSLC’s new President, following the transition of current RSLC President Matt Walter to senior strategic consultant for the organization and on significant projects like RedMap through the completion of the 2020 campaign cycle. Chambers, a native of Georgia, comes to the RSLC after a string of recent campaign victories…”
You Make the Call
Creepy or endearing? This Missourian editorial: “Yeah, this angry old white man was somewhat smitten by our auditor.”
Missouri Jobs with Justice (JwJ) seeks Communications Director. “The Communications Director leads the development and implementation of the communications strategy and plan for Missouri Jobs with Justice. The Communications Director designs and executes communications strategies for electoral, policy and organizing campaigns while working closely with policy and organizing team members. The ideal candidate is: Someone who is passionate about progressive change and interested in building power for workers, low-income communities and communities of color in Missouri; A consumer of news, politics and digital media and who can capitalize on opportunities to get our message out and shift the conversation on issues that impact workers and their communities…$50,000-$60,000 based on experience…” See the ad here.
American Property Casualty Insurance Association Political Account - $13,728 from American Property Casualty Insurance Association.
MO Cable PAC - $15,100 from Charter Communications.
Aaron Baker and Hannah Beers added Winter Group.
Christopher Scott Hammann added Great State Strategies LLC.
Dane Aaron Henning added Lori Porter.
Happy birthday to former Rep. Courtney Curtis.
Saturday: Clem Smith, and Mark Reardon.
Sunday: Brad Robinson, Lori Hatton Rasmussen, DJ Wilson, and Mark Boyko.