Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to help you internalize your goals and keep you on track.
As owner and sole staff member of Missouri Journal, he writes, that I cover "Missouri politics with the Show-Me State's well-known skepticism."
I have always liked the state motto, readily admitting I am a skeptical person. However, I never realized until reading his phrasing how well journalism and a Show-Me attitude fit together.
Whether it is examining the records or asking leaders questions, I want to see or hear proof.
Battling Big Business
After seeing a layoff notice for 1,222 workers filed by Ford Motor Co., I wanted to know if it was possible for a company to receive incentives after a mass layoff. Ford has responded to some questions, but the state has been mostly unresponsive.
Filing a Sunshine Law request paid off, however. A "notice of intent" record reveals that the company will not be eligible to retain withholding taxes on new jobs until after it brings back the workers.
There may be a loophole available, however, for other companies to exploit.
According to analysis of the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act, there appears to be nothing written in the statute prohibiting a company from claiming returning workers following layoffs, or new hires after firings, as new jobs, depending on when the company files its notice of intent required by the state.
If a company were to fire workers and then file the notice, the company may be eligible for incentives.
As I have reported on numerous times in the past, despite frequent talk of budget cuts, overall state spending is likely to continue to increase. Therefore, when the numbers show the Missouri House voted on a budget totaling nearly $1 billion more than proposed by the governor, I reported it.
"They always lead me to believe you have no background in state budget matters."
Silvey said they removed the "E" at the end of appropriations, which stood for estimated.
In response, I pointed out that I wrote Republicans will argue the proposal by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, was not balanced. And whether an appropriation has and "E" or not at the end, a budget plan, after all, is still an estimate. It does not become an expenditure until after the money is spent.
Therefore, when comparing appropriation amounts, the plan to spend $24 billion next fiscal year by representatives would increase spending 3.4 percent from the amount approved for this fiscal year.
While budgets for departments or programs may go down, total spending trends upward.
The numbers show that in the last 30 years, total expenditures dropped year-over-year only three times, while spending increased 468 percent from $3.9 billion in 1981 to $22.2 billion in 2011.
Show-Me State Reporting
Residents of the Show-Me State deserve and demand to see the proof.
Therefore, it is my goal to gather and provide factual information.
At times, one side or another will likely be upset with me, while others cheer me on.
I am also bound to make mistakes along the way.
Therefore, please call me out when this happens and I will make the necessary corrections.
As always, I welcome your news tips and feedback.
And feel free to contact me directly or leave comments below.