The Show-Me Report: April 24, 2015

The Eagle: Governor has no plans to change after critical audit

Fox 4: Michael Brown’s family files civil lawsuit, attorneys say

Fox 2: Read the entire wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michael Brown’s family

PoliticMO: Heated debate over Rams spending, not social spending, held up budget conference committee

Post-Dispatch: Alleging voter fraud, Kinloch refuses to swear in new mayor and alderman

Kansas City Star: Missouri’s McCaskill and Blunt at odds over Loretta Lynch confirmation vote

Post-Dispatch: Luetkemeyer gets firearms industry award for opposing Justice Department initiative

Show-Me Daily: A Choice for Timothy

Tim Jones: Dear Friends, Support Bev Randles!

Missourinet: Missouri Legislature sends $26-billion budget proposal to Governor

The Missouri Times: Lawmakers send budget to Nixon

News-Tribune: A look at Missouri’s $26 billion budget passed by lawmakers

News-Tribune: No state employees’ pay raise in new budget

The Missourian: Efforts to block renewed bonding for new Rams stadium have failed

Kansas City Business News: Kansas City reaches compromise with Uber

Midtown KC Post: Uber and KC make peace

Fox 4: Uber, Kansas City Council reach compromise to keep ridesharing service rolling

The Missourian: Vietnam Vets Memorial dedicated in southwest Missouri

Fox 2: Fox Files: Missouri man faces life for marijuana use

Fox 2: Life sentence for pot? Missouri man serving lengthy term for marijuana

Missouri Business Alert: Hardee’s considering moving headquarters out of St. Louis

Post-Dispatch: http://missouribusinessalert.com/industries/58710/2015/04/23/hardees-considering-moving-headquarters-out-of-st-louis/

Show-Me Daily: Tolling Coming to I-70?

Dexter Daily Statesman: Missouri House passes cellphone charge for 911 services

News-Tribune: Mo. House OKs changes to municipal court practices

April 24th, 2015|Categories: The Blog|Tags: |0 Comments

Nixon’s Concerned Welfare Cuts May Hurt Kids; In Other News, Nixon Paid Governors Association Dues From Children’s Fund

Gov. Jay Nixon is very concerned about a bill that limits how long families can receive welfare benefits.

Cue Helen Lovejoy:

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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said he has concerns about a bill passed by lawmakers that would reduce how long people can receive welfare benefits.

Nixon said Wednesday he agrees with the need for personal responsibility by adults but is concerned about the bill’s effect on children in families whose benefits would get cut.

Speaking of “the need for personal responsibility…”

Gov. Jay Nixon charged a $1,300, one-day float trip in 2011 for himself, his wife and four office employees to the state, saying it was meant to promote Missouri tourism.

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But an audit released Wednesday found the Democratic governor’s office did not keep documentation of the trip’s business purpose.

It’s just one of numerous problems within the office unearthed by the state auditor’s office.

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Numberous? Like what?

For the past four years, the Republican-controlled House and Senate have added language to the state budget forbidding the governor’s office from shifting funds from most state agencies to his office, with the exception of the Department of Public Safety. Deputy Auditor Harry Otto says Nixon, a Democrat, has been violating that provision regularly.

“The total is in the area of $1.9 million over a three-year period,” Otto said, “and of that, about $948,000 is (for) personnel.”

Otto says six employees within the governor’s office were paid with funding from other state agencies and added that numerous other expenses from the governor’s office are also being billed to other agencies:

“Like, the National Governors Association, the Southern Governors Association dues aren’t being picked up by the governor’s office,” Otto said. “They’re being charged to Economic Development, or Health and Senior Services, or other areas that aren’t appropriate.”

And as for those “other areas that aren’t appropriate,” I assume he meant this:

Republicans charged Wednesday that Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration has used about $200,000 over the past three years in Children’s Division funding to pay fees for the National Governors Association.

I repeat:

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Perhaps if he wasn’t skimming off the Children’s Division to pay dues, I’d believe he was actually concerned about the children.

April 23rd, 2015|Categories: The Blog|Tags: |2 Comments

Support of House Uber/Lyft Bill Show Lack of Faith in Free Market and The People

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Yesterday the Missouri House gave its initial approval to a bill that would restrain a city from regulating businesses like Lyft and Uber.

These services allow individuals to use an app to hail a ride. The way it works is simple:

Passengers choose which kind of car service they’d like to request on the app, then plug in their location and in some cases, destination addresses. The app then alerts the customer when a car has been confirmed, and shows the driver’s name and license plate number while also displaying the driver’s route and estimated time of arrival. Riders then tell the driver where to go if that info isn’t already in the system, and then a receipt is emailed to the customer after the trip has completed. Passengers and drivers rate each other, as an incentive to be both good customers and provide feedback on drivers.

Some things need to be clarified. The companies that make the apps don’t own the cars. They simply connect drivers with people who need rides.

This setup is hated by taxicab companies, who lobby against it, which is what we’ve seen in Kansas City and St. Louis.

Enter, the Missouri Legislature.

The Missouri House gave its initial approval Wednesday night to a bill that would limit the ability of cities to regulate ride-hailing companies by creating statewide standards.

The vote comes just weeks after Kansas City approved new rules applying to both traditional taxis and new technology companies such as Uber and Lyft that use smartphone apps to link passengers with drivers using their own vehicles.

The legislation still has to be approved once more in the House before it would go to the Senate. It sets policies regarding background checks for drivers and guidelines for insurance. It also mandates companies — but not drivers — receive a permit from the local government.

Any regulations that go beyond the state standards would be prohibited under the bill.

Proponents say statewide standards will allow a new technology company to operate and expand throughout Missouri.

I’m not a fan of this.

This is a basic property rights issue, and beyond the control of any level of government.

Person A has a car. It’s their property.

Person B has a need to get somewhere. They’re willing to trade their property, money, for a ride.

Having a natural right to property and the free exercise thereof, Person A should be able to use their own property to give Person B a ride, while collecting a fee for their effort, as long as said fee is freely given.

Now, where does government have a role?

It certainly isn’t to make sure Person A has proper insurance, or is a safe driver, or has a background check.

Those are things taxicab companies want done because the cost to do those things limit competition.

So what should the Missouri Legislature do?

Nothing. Since it’s a property rights issue, there’s no role other than securing a person’s right to property, which they’ve already done.

The fact they feel the need to do something shows they don’t have faith in the people or the market.

Let me explain.  Uber and Lyft are working in cities across the US.

If they are barred from cities in Missouri and the people want them, isn’t it the duty of the citizens to make the city open their doors to them?

That’s what they did in Washington, DC, where Uber started:

Uber rebelled and called on its customers to flood councilmembers’ email and phone systems with demands to strip out that language. Rather than let a fight over Uber sink the larger taxi legislation, the Council instead drafted an amendment that gave Kalanick’s company an exemption from DCTC oversight through December 31.

Remember, these politicians operate on fear. If they think there’s a chance they will lose their office over any given position, they will do what’s needed to keep that office.

Furthermore, isn’t it the duty of property owners to address their concerns to their elected officials, even if that means taking them to court?

Uber is a multi-billion dollar corporation. That buys some pretty good lawyers. They could help drivers in cities plead their cases. They could take one to the Supreme Court.

They don’t need the state government to fight it for them. And they certainly don’t need them to take action so “a new technology company” can “operate and expand throughout Missouri.”

The free market will do that, and make sure they do it safely.

What do you think?

Photo Credit: TheTruthAbout
April 23rd, 2015|Categories: The Blog|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Show-Me Report: April 23, 2015

Post-Dispatch: Audit: Governor’s office expensed $1,300 float trip, doesn’t price check travel

KBIA: Audit ranks governor’s office as ‘fair,’ cites continuing use of funds from other agencies

News-Tribune: Still footing the bill for Nixon

20 Pounds of Headlines: Audit Blasts Nixon’s Use of State Planes

Post-Dispatch: Nixon in DC pushing Missouri site for new Geospatial facility

News-Tribune: Nixon cites concerns about welfare-cut measure on children

News-Tribune: New auditor to cut deputy, chief of staff

The Rolla Daily News: Missouri House endorses legalizing growth of industrial hemp

The Missouri Times: Municipal Court reforms creep closer to Nixon’s desk

Fox 2: Missouri House approves changes to municipal court rules

The Missouri Times: After delays, conference committee advances budget

The Eagle: Senate to vote on budget Thursday

News-Tribune: House OKs limiting access to police camera video

Kansas City Star: TheChat: Rob Schaaf says theft of money justifies deadly force

News-Tribune: Mo. House advances cellphone charge for 911 services

Missourinet: Missouri House and Senate nearing agreement on ‘fix’ to school transfer law

Kansas City Star: Missouri lawmakers are unlikely to raise gas tax to pay for road repairs

Fox 2: Missouri House endorses statewide regulations for Uber, Lyft

PoliticMO: Nixon hints at opposition to bill that would cut TANF assistance

St. Joseph Post: Missouri legislature proposes limits on medical malpractice awards

News-Tribune: House sends medical malpractice caps to Gov. Nixon

The Missourian: New green coalition speaks Republicans’ language

The Missourian: Trial over Missouri’s treatment of sexual predators begins

Fox 2: Life sentence for pot? Missouri man serving lengthy term for marijuana

Fox 2: Report shows some St. Louis region police departments can’t provide proper equipment

Connect Mid-Missouri: Lane Roberts sworn in as Public Safety Director

Southeast Missourian: New Parma mayor says skin color is not an issue

The Eagle: MU professor calls for more transparency in MO execution process

Show-Me Daily: An Idea for Better Transit in Missouri: Raise Fares

The Missouri Times: Department of Labor honors fallen workers

Kansas City Star: John Danforth will receive the Truman Public Service Award

Post-Dispatch: Family of Michael Brown Jr. plans wrongful death suit against city of Ferguson

Fox 4: Proposal would consolidate metro 911 operations in Mo., but dispatchers have concerns

April 23rd, 2015|Categories: The Blog|Tags: |0 Comments

The Show-Me Report: April 22, 2015

Missouri Business Alert: MoDOT still holding out hope of gas tax increase

News-Tribune: Schaaf proposes toll road option for I-70

Ozark Area Network: Medical malpractice caps heads to Missouri governor

Ozark Area Network: Sen. Blunt’s staff to hold listening post meeting in Eminence

PoliticMO: What’s the status of the budget as Missouri lawmakers begin conference committee?

PoliticMO: Why Schaefer fights: His policy rationale behind the ‘lump sum’ proposal

The Rolla Daily News: Review of Missouri K-12 learning goals further strained

Berger’s Beat: A.G. KOSTER GETS SETTLEMENT FROM SUNTRUP AND AN AUTO SALES FIRM

Fox 2: Talks with DOJ in Missouri town about ticket quotas end

Post-Dispatch: Presentation to NFL caps big week for St. Louis stadium project

The Missouri Times: Rep. Genise Montecillo leads late push for Ameren to PSC

The Rolla Daily News: Corporate headquarters tax bills sent to Missouri governor

Fox 2: Missouri House OKs term limits for all statewide offices

Post-Dispatch: McCaskill contemplating legislative action on NCAA ‘one and done’ rule

The Missourian: Missouri House approves bill allowing parents to assign care of children

Post-Dispatch: Mo. Senate endorses eating disorder bill

The Missouri Times: Senators weigh changes to deadly force law

Missourinet: Bills would allow orders of protection for Missouri rape victims

News-Tribune: House sends unemployment benefit cuts to governor

Post-Dispatch: Crowds throng Ferguson City Hall for a new start

KPLR: Parkway North HS official says Black Lives Matter signs were to show support for student discussion on race and Ferguson

Post-Dispatch: A vision for Ferguson and beyond

Post-Dispatch: Comprehensive St. Louis County audit on hold again

April 22nd, 2015|Categories: The Blog|Tags: |0 Comments

The Show-Me Report: April 21, 2015

PoliticMO: Missouri GOP chairman levels criticism at Tony Messenger, upon Post Dispatch’s Pulitzer accolades

The Turner Report: State board holds hearing on redoing educational standards

Post-Dispatch: Common Core workgroups report mediocre attendance

20 Pounds of Headlines: Common Core Splits Missouri Parent Group

KBIA: Exploring the Paths of Missouri’s Special Education: Public v. State Schools

Southeast Missourian: Right-to-Work a good step forward for Missouri’s economy

The Missouri Times: TWMP talks Right-to-Work, the budget, and 2016

Missouri Business Alert: Blunt’s new bill seeks national identity theft standards

Lee’s Summit Tribune: Roy Blunt Visits Lee’s Summit

The Turner Report: Graves: EPA guilty of executive overreach

St. Joseph Post: MoDOT holds out hope for gas tax increase

Fox 2: Michael Brown memorial tree vandalized, plaque stolen

St. Joseph Post: Affordable Care Act contractor logs 13,000 hours in overtime

Fox 2: Corporate headquarters tax bills sent to Missouri governor

The Rolla Daily News: AG to defend Missouri Senate in Sunshine lawsuit

The Rolla Daily News: Missouri House panel OKs traffic fine limits, court rules

Missourinet: Missouri Congressional delegation campaigns to ditch the EPA’s “Waters of the U.S.” rule

Missourinet: Bill to allow statewide 911 in Missouri nears House passage

April 21st, 2015|Categories: The Blog, The Show-Me Report|Tags: |0 Comments

Wait? Nixon Made How Many Calls from His Cell Phone Last Year?

Zero.

That’s how many calls our Governor made from his cell phone last year.

You know, the year he let Ferguson and Dellwood burn:

In the year 2014, the year Ferguson erupted, the year the governor faced a huge tax cut bill by the Republicans that forced him to slash education funding, mental-health funding and the privatization (and reduction in services) of a long-term children’s mental-health residential facility, the governor made zero phone calls on his state-issued cellphone, a Blackberry on an AT&T plan. It costs about $30 per month.

So, wait?  Why does he have it if he isn’t using it?  And how then is he communicating with people when he’s not meeting with people on the third floor of the Missouri State Capitol?

Let me bring you up to speed if you haven’t been following my coverage of the governor’s transparency and communication practices in the past few weeks.

Curious that I found no correspondence directly to or from the governor in some 11,000 emails regarding the privatization of Cottonwood Residential Treatment Center for children, I followed up with questions as to how the governor communicates, if he’s not included in communications from his communications staff.

I was met at first with runaround, so I started asking more questions, which led to a governor staffer finally telling me that the governor does not use any form of electronic written communication for public business. This includes text, email and instant messaging.

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Or cell phones, it seems. Is it possible he’s the greatest leader in the world and doesn’t need the various forms of communication other top leaders of the world need?

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He’s got to be keeping in communication with his team somehow, but there’s no record of it:

The governor placed not one phone call from his cell to let someone know he was sick or running late (and politicians are always running late). Not one call was placed to someone to tell him plans have changed. Not once did he call a secretary to double-check a schedule. No calls to his chief of staff to relay orders. No calls to his press secretary. Not a call to say, “thanks.” No calls to anyone from the National Guard, Ferguson officials.

The man lives in a vacuum.

Another curious point. There were no calls placed to his public cellphone either. This means that his inner circle knows not to use that number.

So what does this mean?

It means Nixon has such a closed circle that he communicates with, he doesn’t need to use any of the technology the rest of the world relies on every minute of every day.

Either that, or in typical liberal Democrat fashion, he’s lying and hiding something.

I’m more partial to the latter than the former. How about you?

April 20th, 2015|Categories: The Blog|Tags: |0 Comments

Tell Me Again That We’ve Cut As Much State Government As Possible

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Big government Republicans in the Missouri House and Senate say we have to raise taxes in order to fund the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Rep. Dave Hinson, a “Republican” who has never seen a tax increase he didn’t like, tweeted this after I bemoaned the fact that stimulus money went to broadband internet in Missouri, rather than roads and bridges:

So, I asked, couldn’t we do something else?

His reply? Cutting government is a “pipedream.”

No, really:

He was serious.

Which made me wonder: how much government is there on the state level?

We have a $26 billion budget. What do we get for all that?

So I started making a list. It took three days of searching online and honestly, I doubt it’s all here.

I’d wager there are divisions, agencies, boards, committees, commissions or offices I missed, but here’s what I could find, according to the state government’s own website.

Behold, your state government:

Bi-State Development Agency of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District

Board of Directors for the American National Fish and Wildlife Museum District

Board of Election Commissioners for the City of St. Louis

Board of Fund Commissioners

Board of Public Buildings

County Employees Retirement Fund Board of Directors

Departments:

Educational Commission of the States

Emancipation Day Commission

Ferguson Commission

General Assembly

Governor’s Committee to End Homelessness (GCEH)

Governor’s Council on Disability

Governor’s Office

Interstate Compact on Education Opportunity for Military Children

Judicial Branch

Life Sciences Research Board

Lt. Governor’s Office

Mid-America Port Commission

Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC)

Midwest Special Needs Trust (MSNT)

Midwestern Higher Education Commission

Missouri Accountability Portal

Missouri Attorney General

Missouri Auditor

Missouri Division of Credit Unions

Missouri Division of Workforce Development

Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees

Missouri Secretary of State

Missouri State Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees, (MOSERS)

Missouri Treasurer

Missouri Volunteer Life Insurance Commission

Office of Administration:

Public School Retirement System of Missouri, Board of Trustees

St. Charles County Convention & Sports Facilities Authority

Tax Credit Review Commission

Remember, there are things I’ve missed.  I guarantee it.  (And if you know one that should be on there, let me know.)

You see anything there we could do without?

How about the “Amusement Ride Safety Board?”  Do we need to fund that?  Do we honestly believe that Worlds of Fun is going to stop inspecting The Patriot because the state stops shaking them down for fees?

How about the certifications the Department of Agriculture hands out?  Couldn’t the Missouri Farm Bureau do that?    Seriously. I’d wager they’d make a hefty profit taking over for the state.

And couldn’t we do away with all of the professional licensing?  Do we really need a state department licensing private investigators and tattoo artists?

Of course there is government left to be eliminated.

Let’s stop lying.

It’s just easier for some Republicans to raise taxes than cut programs.

Sad, but true.

*** As I said, this list is probably incomplete. If you know of anything that should be added, please tell me in the comments below. This is a work in progress and will be updated continually. Thanks. ***

April 20th, 2015|Categories: The Blog|Tags: , |1 Comment

The Show-Me Report: April 20, 2015

KPLR: St. Louis County police resigning at alarming rate

Fox 2: Attorney General sues Missouri meat-processing facility

Hennessy’s View: It’s a Beautiful Spring Day, And Dellena Struggles to Stay In Business

St. Joseph Post: Free women’s handgun class to be held in Kirksville

Post-Dispatch: Despite demand for wind energy, Grain Belt Express transmission line faces uncertainty in Missouri

Show-Me Daily: Missouri Could Save Millions by Looking to Wisconsin

Fox 2: Hancock and Kelley: Clinton, Rubio, and Cuba

PoliticMO: As Democrats question Clinton’s populist credentials, McCaskill wary of primary fight

Fox 4: New ordinance puts Uber’s KCMO future in doubt

The Turner Report: Speaker: Nixon’s discovery of $80 million for budget being greeted with skepticism

Kansas City Star: Heated gay rights debate continues in Missouri and many other states

The Missourian: Audit finds UMKC business school ran up deficit to boost enrollment

Post-Dispatch: Wentzville Obamacare contractor had to pay overtime to catch up from early enrollment problems

News-Tribune: Missouri Republicans inch forward on Medicaid ‘reforms’

West Central MO Info: Republicans want to get budget to Governor quickly

Missourinet: Schaefer: ‘reining in’ Missouri social programs more important than accelerated budget timeline

Fox 2: St. Louis governing board to vote on police oversight panel

The Missourian: Columbia City Council members take on state lawmakers’ proposals

The Missourian: SHOW ME THE RECORDS: Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ hazardous waste generator database

Fox 4: Police guard home of Mayor Sly James after alleged death threat

PoliticMO: Brunner campaign gets quiet boost from Schweich campaign refunds

April 20th, 2015|Categories: The Blog|Tags: |0 Comments

The Show-Me Report: April 17, 2015

KBIA: Koster remains Missouri’s fundraising leader, but Blunt close behind

Show-Me Daily: What Public Schools Can Learn from Homeschool Parents

Post-Dispatch: Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder may run for governor after all, he says

West Central Mo Info: Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder listening posts

Kansas City Star: Dispute over meaning, impact of Tom Schweich suicide still divides Missouri Republicans

St. Joseph Post: Missouri Senate seeks right to intervene in lawsuits

ABC 17: Missouri Legislature passes 15-month cut to welfare benefits

Missouri Education Watchdog: Missouri Representative Rone Wants to hear about SBAC Testing Problems from Teachers and Education Personnel. This Teacher Starts the Ball Rolling. Add YOUR Voice.

Rolla Daily News: Second public hearing on Missouri education standards April 20

Ozark Area Network: Missouri Senate approves new public safety director

Rolla Daily News: Missouri House endorses allowing on-site brewing businesses

Kansas City Business News: KC will show off first streetcar station on April 24

Post-Dispatch: Nixon team to present St. Louis stadium plan to NFL

Fox 2: Missouri Legislature passes 15-month cut to welfare benefits

Post-Dispatch: Mo. lawmakers to work out differences on school transfers bill

Show-Me Daily: Tax Foundation: Missouri’s Sales Taxes Still Well Above Average

PoliticMO: Kurt Schaefer’s budget plan opposed by Republican legislative leaders

Missourinet: Missouri Senate leader pulls support for chamber’s budget proposal

News-Tribune: Missouri Senate approves change to license office bidding

Jefferson County Penknife: MO House Eases up on JeffCo with SB5 Amendment

Richmond Daily News: State lawmakers debate 2-cent increase in fuel tax

Missourinet: Increase of Missouri’s fuel tax for transportation runs out of gas

St. Joseph Post: Gasoline tax hike stalls in General Assembly

St. Joseph Post: Debate over LGBT rights resumes for Missouri Lawmakers

Post-Dispatch: Protecting consumers from ID theft goal of Blunt’s new bill

Kansas City Star: Government paying most doctors full Medicare fees

Kansas City Star: Emanuel Cleaver’s civil approach is paying dividends

Kansas City Star: Emanual Cleaver of Kansas City talked about for House leadership post

April 17th, 2015|Categories: The Blog, The Show-Me Report|Tags: |0 Comments