Follow-Up on Talk Around The Building
Yesterday I wrote about the talk around where several issues – and personalities stood – in this legislative session. Here’s some feedback:
· Sen. Bill Eigel himself texted to debunk any talk of using the prescription drug monitoring program as leverage for other priorities. It sounds like he’s completely opposed to it in its current form. “I just spit out my coffee! I would not ever trade PDMP for Wayfair!”
Other building denizens weigh in:
· “Eigel, and the entire conservative caucus, have done exactly what they said they were going to do. Unlike past session bomb-throwing exercises intended to create chaos, they’re working to negotiate the best policy for the state, the conservative philosophy and the Republican Party… Don’t count this session out yet. Lots of time left on the clock.”
· “I read the quote from the Senator who claims he or she has not heard a constituent complain about taxes. That same Senator has also not heard a constituent complain about tort reform. But that won’t stop he or she from voting in favor of those bills. Special interest driven hypocrisy knows no bounds.”
One source says that I should keep an eye on bonding. It’s a still problematic issue. The governor’s office is sticking with their bonding proposal instead of just hopping on House Budget Chair Cody Smith’s substitute plan.
My sense is that nearly every senator would very much like to do something for infrastructure. However, there are a lot of cross-currents which could knot the issue up.
· Pro Tem Dave Schatz is blocking for Team Parson
· Sen. Doug Libla is pushing a reduced gas tax to off-load some of the burden to truckers and out-of-state users.
· The Conservative Caucus doesn’t like debt (Parson plan) or higher taxes (Libla plan).
· Dems are playing rock-scissors-paper to see who goes to the kitchen to make more popcorn, hoping the GOP three-way tug-of-war burns time off the clock.
Gov Lunches With Rex
KCStar reports that “Missouri Gov. Mike Parson had a private lunch in the governor’s mansion Thursday with economist Arthur Laffer and St. Louis GOP mega donor Rex Sinquefield.”
What It Means
· Team Parson knows if no “mega donors” are alienated it will be nearly impossible for a Republican to launch a credible primary challenge.
· Laffer – who famously sketched his “curve” on a napkin – is unlikely to have swayed the pragmatic governor to believe that a new tax cut will solve the state’s current budget jitters.
· But maybe they mentioned lower taxes in St. Louis (after government consolidation) could inject some fresh growth into that economic engine??
· Or maybe Sinquefield made the case for education reform as a workforce development issue??
Graves on MAX Crashes
On Facebook, Congressman Sam Graves considers the circumstances of Boeing’s MAX 8 accidents: I read through the Ethiopian government’s report on the recent plane crash. BTW, the Ethiopian government owns the airline which is why they are limiting access to the data. They don’t want scrutiny on their management or the airline. There are a couple of items that stand out to me from the report. This report is not the FAA’s or NTSB’s analysis. They have been granted very limited access to the data, if at all. Which is telling as well. The headlines are very misleading in claiming that the pilots performed the correct procedures…. Both pilots were in their 20s. The co-pilot had total hours of 361 flight hours with 56 hours in the MAX 8. He was 25 years old. The pilot was 29 years old and had 103 flight hours in the MAX 8.
I hate that many in this country are using two accidents that occurred in foreign countries, when there has been limited access to the data by our own safety experts, to tear our safety system down. Here in the United States, with commercial airline travel in the last 10 years, we have had 7 billion passengers, 90 million flights, and only one fatality. That includes 57,000 flights in North America in the MAX 8 with no issues like this. While even one fatality is tragic, the numbers speak for themselves.
Revenues Still Down
As of the close of business April 3, state revenues were down $238 million, or -3.55%. I’m going to keep an eye on the daily numbers as we’re in the red zone of tax return time. Revenues appear to making up some ground – relative to last year. Still I think most people will be very surprised if it recovers to break-even.
Great State Strategies
Great State Strategies LLC was formed. Its registered agent is Eapen Thampy. According to the paperwork, it will engage in “ political and business consulting and lobbying.”
Governor Mike Parson made the following appointments:
· Neal Farrar and Lindell Lindsey to the Well Installation Board,
· Sue Peterson, Republican, to the Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee.
· Dr. Kenneth F. Scott, Jr. to the Missouri 911 Service.
Steven Reed filed an initiative petition to end Day Light Savings time in Missouri. See it here.
Shetova Hayes filed an initiative petition to change minimum prison terms. See it here.
Treece For Mayor - $12,500 from Missouri Drive Fund.
Voters Organized Through Education StL (aka Vote-StL PAC)- $34,000 from Joseph Wingate Folk Society.
MBA Pony Express Region PAC - $5,136 from Nodaway Valley Bank.
Missourians for Responsible Energy - $6,598 from Missouri Energy Development Association.
Missouri Senior PAC - $10,000 from Strategic Capitol Consulting.
Jim Cooper added Casey’s General Stores.
Happy birthdays (Saturday) to Rep. Lane Roberts, John McCaherty, Mark Jones, Craig Overfelt and Daniel Bogle.
Sunday: Rep. Suzie Pollock, Ryan Rowden, and Kaycee Nail.