MOScout Daily Update: Revenue Watch - Bonding = Prioritizing - How PDMP is like Spanking in Schools - Readers on "Let Parson Be Parson" and more...

Driving the Day

·         The Senate’s bonding compromise has a 3:30 hearing in Fiscal Oversight Committee.  It’ll get voted out and then head to the floor when the Senate convenes today.

·         The Twenty-Second Circuit Judicial Commission meets at noon to select a panel of three nominees to fill the circuit judge vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Mark H. Neill.


Daily Revenue Watch

·         Close of business Thursday April 11: still down $255 million, -3.68%. 

·         On Twitter Rep. Kip Kendrick says he’s “cautiously optimistic revenue rebounds.”  He thinks “if so, expect Senate to move forward with current FY20 spending plan. [But] if revenue does not recover adequately, then Senate will likely cut spending in FY20 budget. FY19 withholds are still possible as well. Withholds would be fairly unprecedented this late in fiscal year. Would be painful and would likely target higher ed.”

·         Count me among the “soberly pessimistic.”  I guess it could happen, but I’ve never seen a $250 million spike.

·         We’ll see….


Kendrick on Bonding as De Facto Prioritization

Rep. Kip Kendrick remarked in the Dems press availability last week that he’s “tracking” the Senate compromise.  He notes that devoting money from general revenue to pay off debt amounts to prioritizing that payment ahead of others because of course the General Assembly’s first obligation is paying debts.  Therefore, the bonding questions is a question of whether roads are a higher priority than education. 


Driving The Week

·         We could finally see a Senate debate on Title IX this week.  I’m curious to see who all stands, and on which side they do….

·         Senate Floor Leader Caleb Rowden said that they may return to Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s SB 391 which would prevent local jurisdictions from adopting stricter environmental rules.

·         On the House side we may see the anti-eminent domain bill come up.

·         Politico reported late last week that the FEC should reveal the secret donors to the Now or Never Super PAC which supported Todd Akin’s 2012 Senate bid. 


Spanking in School

Washington Post had an article (see it here) about the disappearance of corporal punishment in North Carolina schools despite it being legal and their state supreme court .

I’m told the same is true here. Missouri law still allows corporal punishment in schools, but very few school boards allow corporal punishment via board policy. 

North Carolina law still allows schools to inflict “physical pain upon the body of a student,” but school boards have the final say. Just 12 years ago — when the legislature last voted to maintain corporal punishment statewide — about 70 percent of North Carolina’s 115 school districts allowed instructors to hit their students. Since that time, however, in a triumph of local activism, all of those districts have reversed course. Graham County was the last holdout. Yet when the end came, it was uncontroversial — the board voted unanimously to end the practice with little public debate. Now, a bipartisan group of legislators is seeking to change state law to ban it for good.

This milestone could have arrived decades ago, but in a far different setting. In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court came within a single vote of declaring corporal punishment unconstitutional.

It did not, however, and paddling schoolchildren in Graham County continued for 40 more years.

Corporal punishment in public schools remains formally legal in 19 states; in at least three of them — Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas — a majority of schools still report using it. But in most of the United States, evolving social mores have led to its de facto abolition.


Seems the same thing may be happening in Missouri with PDMP where the majority of the state is adopting the program without any state implementation.


MEC Litigation Update

The Missouri Ethics Commission updated its guidance on campaign contribution laws due to ongoing ligitation.

·         On September 10, 2018, the Eighth Circuit upheld the injunction in the opinion, finding the PAC to PAC prohibition unconstitutional. On January 8, 2019, the Missouri Ethics Commission filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States. At the request of the court, the other parties filed responsive briefs on March 15, 2019, and the MEC filed a reply brief on March 29, 2019. On April 18, 2019, the Court will be in conference and will decide whether to take the case.

·         In Mo. Chamber of Commerce v. Mo Ethics Commission, et. al, No. 17AC-CC00515 (Cole County Circuit Court), the Missouri Chamber has sought a court ruling on whether corporations can make corporate contributions to their connected PAC… the Circuit Court of Cole County issued a judgment in favor of the Commission…  An appeal was filed in the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District. On April 9, 2019, the Court of Appeals upheld the Cole County judgment….


Readers on “Let Parson be Parson”

I got a little traffic in response to Phill Brooks piece saying that Governor Mike Parson should be more accessible…

·         I would have to agree with the comments about there being restricted access… I would be inclined to conclude that his one or both of his top lieutenants are behind the idea of restricted access. They probably don’t want any mishaps prior to the election next year.

·         Gov not in hallways?  Is that a joke? Lol… I guess [Brooks] misses the weekly visits gov makes to members offices in general assembly or the weekly breakfast/ dinners at mansion he has.

·         Governor has met with every single member of the general assembly.  He invited the House Dem Caucus to his office on the first day of session, attended the Dem Senate Caucus retreat, had breakfast with every member of the House Republican caucus, and met with every Senator in their office…. Perhaps if Phil would visit the capital for more than a few hours each week, he would see that this is the most accessible Governor since Kit Bond.


eMailbag: Sifton in Sikeston

[Sen. Scott] Sifton was in Sikeston this week so I think [it’s] wrong that he is considering County Executive.


Lobbyist Registrations

Elizabeth Lauber added Wings of Hope.

Eapen Thampy added UMKC Young Americans for Freedom, and Students for Cannabis Agriculture.


$5K+ Contributions

POL PAC - $15,000 from JE Dunn Construction Company.

Maryland Heights Paramedics and Firefighters to Re-elect Tom Carter - $5,145 from Maryland Heights Firefighters.

Unite STL - $5,100 from Mark Wrighton.



Happy birthdays to Rep. David Wood, Scott Muschany, Leonard Hughes, and Ira Anders.




An opinion piece from the New York Times arguing to make everyone’s tax returns public.  See it here