Blog

On Thursday, Governor Greitens released his recommendations for the FY 2018 budget that included more than $572 million in spending reductions from last fiscal year. His budget is based of a 3.8% consensus revenue estimate.

Included in his cuts were $73 million reduction from the four year higher educations institutions, a 3% cut to all Medicaid providers,  changes in eligibility requirements for in-home and nursing care,  $31 million reduction in school busing programs and saw the Department of Agriculture’s budget cut by more than half.

Click here for Fiscal Year 2018 Budget recommendations. 

 

On Monday Governor Greitens announced the an expected additional round of budgetary withholds. This comes just a week after he has taken office. Higher education institutions around the state bore the brunt of the cuts, $55 million from the four-year institutions and $11.8 million from community colleges. Other programs that took hits were transportation for K-12 education, the state’s bio-diesel incentives fund, core cuts to the state’s various humanities and cultural partners and Missouri’s tourism advertising budget.  

See his announcement video here as well as the link here to the full list of expenditure restrictions.

 

On Tuesday December 6th, the MO HealthNet Oversight Committee met for their final meeting of 2016, and final meeting for both the Department of Social Services Director Brian Kinkade and the MO HealthNet Director Joe Parks as both will be moving on from state government at the end of the month.

The President of Flotron McIntosh, Richard McIntosh was on air with the Missouri Times for their This Week in Missouri Politics broadcast. Check out the video below for discussion around the upcoming November elections. 

This is the second time Richard has appeared on the program.

 

Today, the Governor's Conference on CyberSecurity was held in Jefferson City. Governor Jay Nixon, Commissioner Doug Nelson, CIO Rich Kliethermes, and CISO Mike Roling kicked off the event. Click here to watch a video of Commissioner Nelson's and Governor Nixon's opening remarks from this morning. 

The summit was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for statewide cybersecurity preparedness programs. The summit focused on themes of information sharing and awareness, training, workforce development, hardening of critical infrastructure discussion and incident response. 

This summit is in tandem with the newly formed Cyber Security Task force that has been at work this summer. See the video below of CISO Mike Roling discussing this task force's role and plan of action. 

 

Missouri is making changes to safeguard the privacy and safety of our state’s citizens. Governor Jay Nixon has signed into law, legislation that will limit access to footage from police body cameras.

Over the last two years, stemming from the killing of Michael Brown, sales for body cameras have soared across the nation. Due to constant media coverage depicting altercations between the public and law enforcement, the demand for accountability is more present now than ever before. 

Within the language of the rewrite of Missouri’s sunshine laws, it will now be specified who can access footage gathered by body cameras,  when they can access it and what footage can be accessed by the public.

During the second regular session of the 98th General Assembly, republican lawmakers introduced language aimed towards encouraging more law enforcement agencies to participate in the action of wearing body cameras. The measure passed through the House with a vote of 154-1, received unanimous support from the Senate and was signed by the governor without comment.

Under Missouri’s Hancock amendment, the state cannot create a mandate on local governments without providing funding. This includes requiring law enforcement to wear body cams without providing funds for the devices, which the state does not currently posses. However, in efforts to progress forward with the protection of citizens and their privacy, the state has now provided guidelines for the data/footage recorded.

Upon implementation of the law in mid-September, access to footage will now be barred during an open investigation, unless a court deems otherwise. Videos will also be considered closed to the public under the following circumstances: video was taken in nonpublic locations such as homes, schools, medical facilities and so forth; the video is ruled reasonably likely to bring shame or humiliation to a person of ordinary sensibilities or in the case that a minor is involved in the footage taken. 

Any person recorded on the footage, including voice, legal guardians of a minor involved and lawyers can request completely unaltered, unedited footage of that individual recorded on a body cam.

Numerous law enforcement officers came forth stating that if provisions were added to protect public privacy, they would be more inclined to wear body cameras. Whereas this is by no means going to stop the violence that has plagued the streets of our state, this is a step forward in safeguarding the citizens of Missouri and their right to privacy, while increasing transparency in interactions between the public and law enforcement, and will hopefully set examples for other states that are not implementing the use of body cameras or addressing the privacy concerns in this legislation.

Following a trade mission to Cuba, Governor Nixon has begun wading into the pile of legislation that was truly agreed and finally passed by the General Assembly this past legislative session which ended in May. 

Governor Nixon has already signed the fiscal year 2017 budget bills and two ethics reform bills that were passed. Still remaining are almost 140 different pieces of legislation that are now under review. 

The Governor signed on June 6th, HB 1443 which was sponsored by Representative Mike Leara and carried by Senator Jeanie Riddle in Senate on behalf of the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System, a client of Flotron & McIntosh. 

Click here to follow all of the legislative actions taken by Governor Nixon.

On Wednesday, the Senate Pro Tem Ron Richard announced the formation of three new interim committees to study specific policies while the legislature is on summer recess. 

Flotron & McIntosh associate Zachary Brunnert was named to The Missouri Times 30 Under 30 awards. Click here to read about the young leaders in Missouri politics.