Driving the Day
St. Louis County takes another step as it tries to move past the Stenger days. It’s special election day. Voters will fill the vacancies on the County Council. Up for election are District 1 (Hazel Erby) and District 2 (Sam Page’s old seat). Democrats Rita Heard Days and Kelli Dunaway are the favorites.
Asset Recycling Coming to MO?
Governor Mike Parson, in Australia, tweets: Today, we met with leaders from @TreasuryVic & @VicGovDoT to hear about their innovative "asset recycling" infrastructure programs and what Australia has learned from this process.
“Asset recycling” could be a hot buzzword in the coming years in Missouri. Voters have repeatedly been reluctant to increase taxes to pay for infrastructure improvements. And last session the Republican legislature was unenthusiastic to issue debt for the same purpose. Though they ultimately went along, it was only have dragging their feet, scaling it back and adding conditions.
“Asset recycling” though offers a nifty solution. See a primer on it here from the pro-free markets Reason Foundation.
The basic idea calls for long-term leasing of aging existing facilities to well-qualified private partners and “recycling” the lease proceeds into new (but currently unfunded) infrastructure. In typical long-term leases, most or all of the lease payments are provided up-front. These proceeds are dedicated to investment in needed, but currently unfunded, infrastructure projects. Provisions in the long-term lease of an existing facility include performance requirements, which in most cases of aging infrastructure, will require significant additional private investment to refurbish and modernize the facility. Hence, asset recycling is intended to fix both of America’s serious infrastructure problems: aging and inadequate existing facilities and lack of funding for a large array of new infrastructure facilities…
Hartzler Farm Gets Gov Help
Kansas City Star reports on local farms getting aid from the government in the face of the effects of the ongoing trade war. See it here.
Bailout payments from the Market Facilitation Program over the last two years have totaled $444 million for farms based in Missouri… Those who signed up for the voluntary program included Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s family farm in Harrisonville, Missouri. Hartzler Farms Inc., a business the congresswoman owns with her husband, received a total of $108,916 for 2018 losses on wheat, soybeans and corn — nearly 14 times the average payout to Missouri farmers of $7,915… Hartzler’s 2018 financial disclosure form filed with the U.S. House estimates the farm’s value between $1 million and $5 million and states that Hartzler’s annual income from the farm is between $15,000 and $50,000. On top of the bailout money, Hartzler’s farm has a long history of benefiting from federal commodity subsidies, taking in nearly $1 million in total between 1995 and 2016….
Eggleston Preps Local Taxation Hearing
Press release: The Interim Committee on Oversight of Local Taxation will hold its first hearing in Kansas City. State Rep. J. Eggleston, who chairs the committee, said the first public hearing will take place August 12… The goal of the committee is to learn more about how current taxation methods affect Missourians, and explore possible improvements to those methods to better serve taxpayers and our state. Eggleston said the prime topic of the August 12th hearing will be property taxes, with an emphasis on the recent Jackson County assessment issue. Time permitting, the committee will also hear discussion on a potential internet sales/use tax and any other local taxation issues….
Why It’s Important
Local tax policy has increasingly come under the glare of state Republicans who fear that the tax cuts they implement are being undermined by an unchecked increase at the local level.
Stem Cell Debate Again?
Pro-life lobbyist Sam Lee (@samualhlee) tweeted last week that Sen. Roy Blunt introduced a bill to halt federally funded embryonic stem cell research at the National Institutes of Health.
Even though voters put embryonic research protections in the constitution in 2006, the issue still attracts controversy. In 2015, the Republican gubernatorial candidates all voiced opposition to it. And in 2016, Washington University challenged the tobacco tax for early childhood health and education because the language said funds could not be used for embryonic research.
It’s unclear whether Blunt’s bill will block any ongoing research in Missouri.
The constitution requires annual embryonic stem reports. The law says that researchers must make these reports public and let the SOS know how to access reports but there’s nothing easily identifiable on the SOS website. The Stowers Institute posts info on their site which shows they haven’t conducted embryonic research since 2009. Washington University’s reports are not readily available. Their Center of Regenerative Medicine returns a “page not found” message.
eMailbag on Poaching
Your chatter post is inaccurate and wrong. Nexus has not and is not trying to poach the KC contract….
Michael White added Eric Holtze.
David Winton and Jessica Petrie added Children’s Trust Fund.
Keep Government Accountable - $25,000 from Dollar Burns & Becker LLC.
Keep Government Accountable - $10,000 from Robert Hinkel.
Supporters of Better Government - $14,060 from Cornerstone.
Happy birthdays to Rep. Jack Bondon, Bryan Stevenson, Bob Nance, Rachael Dunn and Mark Milton.