State tax receipts continue their hot streak. As of close of business April 24, revenues are now $153 million above this point last fiscal year (+2%).
Still, despite the booming influx of checks, Minority Leader Crystal Quade cautions – as others have – that the last few months of FY2018 were very strong, so it’s too soon to celebrate.
Indictment Day in STL County?
There continues to be talk that we’ll see indictments from the investigations into the Stenger administration. Folks say these things generally happen on a Friday, so today is a “high alert” day. If nothing happens, the talk will probably calm down – until next Friday. Feeding the buzz…
· Post-Dispatch article on succession if Stenger exits. See it here.
· Former St. Louis City Mayor Vince Schoemehl posted on Facebook “I think there change is coming in County Executive office. We need Mark Mantovani to steer the County through these complicated times.”
· Rep. Dottie Bailey tweeted (and then deleted) that Stenger had been indicted.
Meanwhile in the City of St. Louis “the embattled executive director of the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment, resigned Thursday amid audits and investigations following news reports of various problems in the agency… City officials have said previously that audits and investigations were underway at the agency, commonly known as SLATE. Among those involved were the U.S. Department of Labor and the state auditor’s office. Some current and former SLATE workers have alleged that time sheets have been falsified…”
Razer Hits MASA ED on Anti-Gay Like
Rep. Greg Razer calls out Dr. Doug Hayter, MASA’s executive director, for liking an anti-gay tweet from Franklin Graham. See it here. @DrHayter you represent MO school administrators. I noticed this tweet that you “liked”. Gay/lesbian teens are 5x more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. Would love to discuss how you & your org plan to help these kids….
Lobbyist: “Would love to be a fly on the wall when/if [Hayter] goes to Razer’s office…”
1st Amendment: The Right to Redact?
KCStar reports that the Parson Administration is invoking the 1st Amendment in order to avoid complying with the Sunshine law.
Parson’s approach was greeted with derision by open records experts, each saying they’ve never seen government withhold information from the public by relying on the First Amendment, which protects freedoms of speech, religion, assembly, the press, and the right to petition.
“I do a lot of public records work and talk with people all over the country. I’ve never seen this,” said Adam Marshall, an attorney with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “It’s silly. It’s really quite silly. It sounds frankly like someone trying to be cute and cite the First Amendment back to a reporter.”
David Roland, director of litigation for the libertarian nonprofit Missouri Freedom Center, called the situation “bizarre.” “I don’t think I’ve ever seen the First Amendment cited in this way,” he said, “and I’m clueless as to why they think it might apply to prevent disclosure of otherwise open public records.”
Steele Shippy, Parson’s communications director, said the office uses the First Amendment to redact telephone numbers, addresses and email addresses of private citizens who have reached out to the governor’s office. The information is blocked out, Shippy said, because someone might not feel comfortable reaching out to voice their opinion to the governor’s office if they thought their personal information might become public…
Mark Pedroli, co-founder of the Sunshine and Government Accountability Project, said using the First Amendment to close records “is so absurd, you would think it was a parody.”
We’ll see if any strict constructionists jump forward to ay this is what the founding fathers had in mind at the Constitutional Convention.
· Press release: The Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control is warning the public that six different types of bottled wine manufactured by the Eldon, Mo. winery Casa de Loco may pose a danger of exploding and should be immediately secured to prevent injury. The wine should not be consumed. The Casa de Loco wine products that ATC is aware of that should be handled with care and secured are: Applesauced, Bellini Gold, Coming in Hot, Kona Lover Port, OCD, and Peachy Thoughts. Casa de Loco never submitted these wines to ATC for product brand registration, which includes review and product evaluation, as required by Missouri law.
· Speaker Elijah Haahr removed Rep. Noel Shull from the Standing Committee on Rules - Administrative Oversight and added Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer.
eMailbag on Mod Dems
My conviction is it is important to embrace or at least accept “pro-life” Dems… We simply have to find a way to attract good candidates in rural/blue collar areas. The reality that I know you are aware of is that House Dems face votes everyday here with the score being 120-40 before we even start debate. We need more players on this team!... I can tell you for sure there are lots of good old school Dems……Catholics, Union members, cops, rural folks (at least the ones I know in Potosi and Steelville, Mo) etc….who are torn and are clearly voting Rep on this issue. At least I know for sure it plays into their collective decisions.
American Property Casualty Insurance Association Political Account - $6,390 from American Property Casualty Insurance Association.
Happy birthday to Caleb Arthur.
Saturday: Rep. Wiley Price, Ryan McKenna, and Tony Dugger.
Sunday: Tina Shannon, Brian Yates, Adam Schnelting, and Abby Zavos.