Driving The Day
10:30AM… Thomas Eagleton Courthouse in St. Louis City, Steve Stenger to enter a guilty plea….
Driving Next Week: GM Jumps to Front of the Line
Legislative leaders indicated that they expect the Department of Economic Development to be working all weekend to hammer out a package of incentives to potentially bring a new huge investment to General Motor’s auto plant in Wentzville.
We’ll see it added to one of the many economic development bills already working their way through the process as early as Monday.
It hops to the front of the line of priority legislation.
What It Means
This is the type opportunity that puts politicians in heat. This isn’t some vague program which will have a hard-to-quantify impact. If this works, you’ll see real jobs. Real people, real paychecks.
Suddenly all the bluster about government not picking winners and losers will melt away like butter.
And the question: why should taxpayers in part of the state subsidized economic development in another part? That the question won’t be answered. That the question won’t even be asked.
Nixon had Claycomo, and now Parson is going after Wentzville.
GM’s registered lobbyists are: Rodney Gray, Tami Holliday, Susan Henderson Moore, Bryan Roosa, and Jason Wetzel.
Next week is also budget week. Despite the common chorus: two weeks is plenty of time. It is for priorities. But things will get squeezed out in the process. We’re entering crunch time.
Title IX Changes Officially Dead
I hate to say anything is “dead” until the gavel drops on the third Friday of May, but the effort to make changes to Title IX is officially dead. Speaker Elijah Haahr said out loud what folks have been saying for a few weeks – he’s not planning to put the bill on the House calendar.
And the nail in the coffin is an article from AP’s Summer Ballentine article that takes readers behind the scenes as lobbyist Richard McIntosh seeks to craft a message that will sell the changes. It’s not pretty. See it here.
He suggested that taking a “couple of shots at the rape equals regret wouldn’t hurt” in a February email to Republican Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin, which he also forwarded to other supporters shortly before a Senate Education Committee hearing on the legislation…
McIntosh’s emails also indicate that his wife played a role in the legislative effort. He suggested in November that House staff add the “AHC language that I sent you from Audrey yesterday.” He listed both his and his wife’s personal contact information in an October email to the House bill sponsor and staffers…
I’m going to stop my breathless daily reporting of the revenue numbers, but I will keep an eye on them.
I would note that after the stellar April, the first day of May was a setback. Revenues are now ahead of last year’s by about $99 million or 1.25%. It’s a reminder of how volatile these numbers can be. And also, while prospects look much better than before, it’s not a forgone conclusion that we’re out of the woods.
House Moves LIHTC
House General Laws Committee moved Sen. Dan Hegeman’s LIHTC bill forward adding a few reform provisions to it.
Floor Leader Rob Vescovo tweeted his support: I’m proud of my colleagues on the General Laws Committee for the reasonable, bipartisan reforms they supported for the LIHTC program. These common-sense changes will protect taxpayers by making the program more efficient, transparent, and accountable.
It will be heard on Monday in Rules.
And… Don’t Poke the Treas
From a Fitz defender…
· To assume someone as bright as Fitzpatrick would simply “cite state audits” as his authority is ridiculous. While Fitzpatrick referenced the audits in explaining his findings, they were never claimed as his sole source of research or information. He has been doing his homework and researching the history of the credit, how it is administered, looking at how other states manage their state LIHTC, the federal tax implication of various reforms, and litigation on federal tax treatment regarding certain housing tax credits. Anyone that has met with him on the LIHTC issue the past few weeks knows that he has been studying and knows his stuff. But for your readers that may want to educate themselves quickly by referencing something more easily consumable, here are some reports, all easy to find on the internet: 1) June 2007, BKD, in cooperation with Missouri State University, Cost/Benefit Analysis of the Missouri Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program; 2) April 2008, Susan Montee, CPA, Missouri State Auditor, Report No. 2008-23, Analysis of Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program; 3) April 2010, Susan Montee, CPA, Missouri State Auditor, Report No. 2010-047, General Assembly and Supporting Functions - Tax Credit Cost Controls; 4) November 2010, Governor Jeremiah W. “Jay” Nixon’s Missouri Tax Credit Review Commission, 2010 Report of the Missouri Tax Credit Review Commission; 5) December 2012, Governor Jeremiah W. “Jay” Nixon’s Missouri Tax Credit Review Commission, Report of the Missouri Tax Credit Review Commission; 6) December 2012, Governor Jeremiah W. “Jay” Nixon’s Missouri Tax Credit Review Commission, Supplemental (And Minority) Report By Certain Members of the Missouri Tax Credit Review Commission; 7) March 2014, Thomas A. Schweich, Missouri State Auditor, Report No. 2014-14, Economic Development – Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program; 8) June 2017, The Governor’s Committee on Simple, Fair, and Low Taxes, Tax Credit Reform: Recommendations to Make Missouri A Best-In-Class State; 9) June 2017, Nicole Galloway, CPA, Missouri State Auditor, Report No. 2017-051, Tax Credit Programs; 10) September 2018, United States Government Accountability Office, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, GAO-18-637. This list is not exhaustive; there are numerous other GAO reports about the inefficiency in the LIHTC program.
· Fitzpatrick has attended an MHDC meeting as a commissioner. On February 25, 2019, in the Truman Building in Jefferson City, it was an open meeting. This has been the first and only meeting scheduled during his tenure on the board.
· As budget chair in spring of 2018, Fitzpatrick refused to authorize the state LIHTC to be issued, and went on record more than once to state that actual reform on the state tax credit needed to take place. Fitzpatrick doesn’t need to distance himself from anything. His position on the state LIHTC precedes Greitens resignation and he hasn’t wavered since.
Committee for KC Jobs - $10,000 from Polsinelli.
Committee for KC Jobs - $10,000 from JE Dunn.
UFCW Local 655 Elect Club - $6,006 from UFCW Locall 655.
Mary Stewart Nelson added Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, Inc.
Mark Habbas added Gregory Germano, and Treehouse LLC.
Happy birthdays to Rep. Sarah Unsicker, Sarah Steelman, Roy Temple, Joe Carmichael, Alvin Brooks, Steve Danner, Susan Henderson Moore, and Michael Frame.
Saturday: Jason Kander, and Ryan Clearwater.
Sunday: David Day, Michael Hafner, and John Hickey.