Galloway: Law Was Broken
Auditor Nicole Galloway held a press conference yesterday to release her office’s latest audit. She declared that DOR’s withholding tables were changed “unlawfully.”
From the audit (see it here): Section 143.191.3(1), RSMo, states, in part, "the method of determining the amount to be withheld shall be prescribed by regulations of the director of revenue." Currently, 12 CSR 10-2.015(20) states regarding the withholding formula: "The formula is mathematically stated as gross income minus standard deduction, minus personal and dependent exemptions, minus federal income tax withheld equals taxable income. Taxable income multiplied by the rate equals Missouri withholding." Based on our review of the January 2019 withholding table and related calculations, the current withholding tables and formula are inconsistent with the current regulation. Amending the withholding formula regulation through the rulemaking process mandated by Chapter 536, RSMo, is necessary to inform the General Assembly of any changes in the rules through notice to the Joint Committee on Rules. This process also allows for notice and comment to the general public for input on the rules. In the event the rulemaking process could not be timely completed, the department has the ability to publish a temporary emergency rule as provided by Section 536.025, RSMo.
It's not unrealistic to think that the House might embark on a reprise of its Special Committee on Government Oversight hearings. If laws were broken, the question is: who broke them? Who knew laws were being broken? Why did they let it happen?
In addition to the House wanting answers, there’s another possible motive to reopening its hearings. The audit has a response from the Department of Revenue attached as an appendix, dated March 18. The Parson administration knew that about these findings – and didn’t give the House any heads up. The Republican legislature might feel the need to assert itself since the Republican governor isn’t treating them as a partner.
Education Stalls Again in Senate
The Senate spent hours and hours yesterday, going past midnight, debating Sen. Bill Eigel’s charter expansion bill, SB 292. However it couldn’t overcome a bipartisan filibuster to get to a perfection vote.
Clean, Cleaner, Cleanest Missouri
Welcome to the redistricting chess game… As I’ve written before, Republicans are plotting a course to put a new ballot question before Missouri voters which would revise the redistricting process passed under last November’s CLEAN Missouri. The ballot candy to pass it is to out clean CLEAN by changing the $5 lobbyist gift cap to an outright lobbyist gift ban. This has been caller “CLEANER Missouri” by some observers.
But… now comes word that Democrats are considering yet another initiative petition to compete with the expected Republican “Cleaner.” One source says this new version would of course keep the original Clean’s redistricting process, but would add ballot candy termed “Cleanest Missouri.” It would be the mother-of-all-ethics-reform, perhaps including draconian measures like lobbyists disclosing what their paid, for example.
The theory is that CLEANEST would get more votes than CLEANER, and retain the CLEAN Missouri redistricting process.
· KCStar reports… Councilwoman Jolie Justus and Councilman Quinton Lucas emerged victorious Tuesday night from a pack of 11 candidates for mayor and will face each other in June for a general election.
· Justus: “They looked at my record.” See it here.
· And: Kansas City Mayor Sly James fought hard for a sales tax to pay for pre-K expansion, but on Tuesday voters overwhelmingly rejected the plan that would have capped his eight years in office… with 98 percent of the precincts reporting, 67 percent of voters said no to the proposal.
Rudi Keller reports that “Challenger Chris Kelly conceded defeat in his bid to become Columbia mayor Tuesday night after results showed him being defeated almost 2-1 by incumbent Brian Treece. With full, unofficial results in, Treece received 10,325 votes, or 64.2 percent, to defeat Kelly, who received 5,761 votes, or 35.8 percent.”
Kelley: “I am the most grateful man in Boone County.” See it here.
A few weeks ago I wrote about how all across Missouri there were dozens of bond issues and tax hikes, a “slow march of local taxes” against which some conservatives were shaking a fist. Here’s a sampling of how those issues performed last night.
· Adair County Fire Protection District – 30-cent levy - PASSED
· Boonville School District – 49-cent levy - PASSED
· Canton School District - $2.5 million bond issue - PASSED
· Cape Girardeau Schools - $8 million bond issue – PASSED.
· Carl Junction – property tax for library – FAILED.
· Clayton School District – 56-cent levy – PASSED.
· Dallas County School District – 46-cent levy – PASSED.
· Desloge City – sales tax increase for public safety - PASSED.
· Fox School District - $70 million bond issue – FAILED.
· Gladstone City – sales tax increase for police and firefighters – PASSED.
· Hillsboro School District – levy rollback waiver – PASSED.
· Lincoln County School District - $24 million bond issue – PASSED.
· Lindbergh School District - $105 million bond issue – PASSED.
· Logan-Rogersville School District – 49-cent levy – PASSED.
· Marthasville Fire Protection District - $1.7 million bond issue – PASSED.
· Milan School District – 35-cent levy – PASSED.
· Pacific, MO – ½ cent sales tax for parks. – PASSED.
· Palmyra School District - $3 million bond issue – PASSED.
· Parkville City – sales tax for parks – PASSED.
· Pine Lawn – use tax – PASSED.
· Potosi School District - $5 million bond issue – PASSED.
· Raytown School District - $53 million bond issue. – PASSED.
· St. Joseph School District – 61-cent levy – PASSED.
· University City Library property tax levy increase – PASSED.
· Velda Village Hills – Use tax – PASSED.
· Washington, MO – property tax for library – PASSED.
· Webster Groves School District - $22 million bond issue. – PASSED.
· Webster Groves - $5 million bond issue for firehouse. – PASSED.
Former Rep. John Bowman placed third in the Northwoods Mayor race.
John L. Bowman 208 27.0%
Marvalda Jones 269 34.9%
Everett R. Thomas 293 38.0%
First in MOScout: Osmack for Senate 15
Mark Osmack is telling folks that he’s going to run for Senate 15. Osmack placed second in the Democratic 2-CD primary last summer.
The incumbent is Republican Sen. Andrew Koenig. Koenig beat Stephen Eagleton in 2016 by a 61%-39%.
Revenues Still Down
As of close of business Monday, state revenues are running $266 million behind last year. That’s an improvement from the $300 million range we’ve been in, so maybe, just maybe the gap is going to close in these final two weeks before the tax deadline.
Most folks I talk to, though, think that’s an awfully lot of ground to cover…
More on Stenger Subpoenas
The news is not getting better… Post-Dispatch reports that “the federal grand jury subpoena served on St. Louis County seeks records of every contract and grant the county has awarded since Jan. 1, 2015 — Steve Stenger’s first day as county executive. It also seeks records of communications between Stenger — or any current or former county official or employee — and any current or former employee, board member or attorney of the St. Louis County Port Authority, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership or St. Louis County Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority…”
Governor Mike Parson appointed Virginia Lay as Associate Circuit Judge for the 21st Judicial Circuit. And he appointed Alisha O’Hara as Associate Circuit Judge for Clay County.
Missouri Coin Operators Association PAC was formed. Its treasurer is Rachel Watson.
MO Opportunity PAC - $7,000 from MVB Contracting, Inc., d/b/a Birkel Electric.
IAFF FirePAC VIC Missouri - $10,000 from International Association of Fire Fighters Interested in Registration and Education PAC.
Jessica Petrie and David Winton added DentaQuest LLC.
Happy birthdays to Dusty Schnieders, Charles Portwood, Ron Schieber, and Eapen Thampy.