RAISING OUR TAXES, PUSHING MEDICAID EXPANSION, AND SUPPORTING WASTEFUL SPENDING
While Kurt Schaefer has been in the State Senate, state spending has ballooned by nearly $3.6 billion dollars. Several of the budgets passed under his watch, were actually higher than what the Democrat governor requested.
“State Sen. Schaefer is wrong to favor his narrow interests over his constituents’ interests. We urge the residents of Missouri to inform themselves about his record, and today we are launching a television ad to air across the state to help Missouri citizens to do just that.”
WOULD YOU THROW YOUR MONEY IN THE TRASH?
Schaefer publicly supported nearly doubling the tax on cigarettes,1 which would have potentially raised taxes by $283 million to $483 million per year.2 In his op-ed, he also mentioned that he was proud to have the “only new item in Missouri’s budget” – an $8.2 million expense for smoking cessation programs for individuals on Medicaid.
In addition, Schaefer supported a bill which would have “closed a loophole” in the Master Settlement Agreement with tobacco companies which would have required companies which did not participate in the MSA to comply with the terms of the MSA and send money to state accounts. In effect, this would have implemented a $73 million tax on smaller tobacco companies and required them to be a party to a court settlement for a case that they were not a party to.3
He also supported an $800 million plan (originally backed by Democratic Representative Chris Kelly) which would have issued bonds to fund school construction; bonds which would have to be repaid by taxpayers in the future. He remarked, “There are people in both the House and Senate who are philosophically opposed to borrowing money even though it’s the right time to borrow. I happen to agree with Chris. Right now is the time to be borrowing money both for the low interest rate and for job creation.”4 Kelly’s proposal was originally $500 million, but Schaefer increased that to $800 million.5
During the 2014 session, he voted for ten tax break bills that Governor Nixon branded a “spending spree.”6
- http://www.columbiatribune.com/opinion/op-ed/cigarette-tax-belongs-on-ballot/article_e22e2892-9f67-5de2- acee-460e6f522051.html, http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/gop-budget-leader-would- support-higher-cigarette-tax-on-missouri/article_d3d63c68-27d9-11e0-a359-0017a4a78c22.html
- http://themissouritimes.com/9138/tobacco-loophole-closure-bill-leaves-committee-heels-public-opinion- survey/, http://themissouritimes.com/9908/missouri-misses-73-million-dollars-due-tobacco-loophole/
- http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/education/kelly-to-push-million-bond-plan-again/article_ea2574ab- 0f19-57e1-9a42-2fa494b65a7e.html
- http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/politics/nixon-vetoes-tax-break-bills-calling-them-a-spending- spree/article_f65abc34-f1a5-11e3-b928-0017a43b2370.html
Schaefer voted on multiple occasions to reinstate local sales taxes on cars purchased out of state, which could increase taxes by $20 million. The measure was seen as a protectionist attempt to remove the tax advantage of buying cars from out-of-state dealers.1
- Yes on SS HCS HB1329, 5/16/12; Yes on HCS SCS SB182, 4/3/13; Yes on SS HB184, 5/16/13; Yes on CCS HCS SB23, 5/8/13; Yes on HCS SB99, 5/14/13
In 2013, Schaefer sponsored SB465, which would have instituted a tax amnesty program allowing deadbeats to get away without fines as long as they paid their overdue taxes.1 He later supported a 2015 measure that successfully implemented an amnesty program, with the proceeds used to fund expanded dental benefits under Medicaid.2
- Yes on SS HB384, 4/7/15
The Fiscal Year 2016 budget, the most recent passed by the legislature, was $26.02 billion dollars.1 The Fiscal Year 2009 budget, the one passed the first year Schaefer was in office, was $22.44 billion dollars.2 During his time in office, the budget has increased by $3.58 billion, an increase of 15.95%.
The year before Schaefer took office as Appropriations Chair, the budget was $23.27 billion.3
Schaefer took office as Appropriations Chair in 2011, and that year the FY2012 budget was $23.23 billion. The Governor’s suggested budget was only $23.09 billion.4 In 2012, he continued passing budgets higher than the Democrat governor’s request, passing a $24.03 billion budget when the Governor had requested $23.08 billion.5 The FY2014 budget (passed in 2013) was $24.80 billion, which was lower than the Governor’s recommended $25.70 billion.6 The FY2015 budget was $26.38 billion, which is nearly $1.3 billion lower than the Governor’s recommended $27.67 billion.7 The FY2016 budget was $26.02 billion dollars, $100 million below the Governor’s recommendation.8 Overall, during his time as Appropriations Chairman, the budget grew by $2.75 billion over the pre-Schaefer budget, a total of 11.8%.
In 2009, Schaefer sponsored SB246, which would create a tax credit for contributions to regional economic development organizations.1 The same year, he also sponsored SB288, allowing tax credits for research expenses.2
The next year, he sponsored a bill, SB99, which would have expanded the availability of tax credits for establishing a new business facility in a certified industrial zone.3
Schaefer was one of only 7 legislators (including 3 Republicans) voting against a 2013 measure including expansion of some tax credits and caps on others (including historic preservation and low-income housing).1
- No on SS SCS SB120, 2/28/13
While the bill did not ultimately pass in 2013, Sen. Schaefer was the sponsor of SJR3, seeking to allow the Board of Fund Commissioners to issue $950 million in bonds to cover a variety of projects.1
However, when the bonding bill came up for a perfection vote on the Senate floor the following year, he voted against it.2 When it came up for third reading, he skipped the vote, showing up for the votes immediately before and after SB723.3 However, he voted for the companion resolution, SCR39, allowing the issuance of bonds for some state and university projects. This bill ultimately did not pass.4
In 2015, he once again skipped the vote on the bonding bill, SB330.80 This time, he also voted against one of the companion bills, SCR85 (relating to a state buildings project list), though he supported SCR96 , which dealt with university projects to be funded via bonds.
Schaefer came up with a plan to give the Department of Social Services, Department of Mental Health, and Department of Health and Senior Services lump sums in the budget rather than outline specific budget items, giving up legislative authority by allowing these departments to decide what to spend the money on.7 Press noted that Speaker Diehl, Senate President Pro Tem Dempsey, and Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard had all expressed concerns that his proposal would give too much power to the governor, and Schaefer’s response was, “You have no control over this, anyway.”8
- http://www.senate.mo.gov/14info/BTS_Web/Actions.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=31475482 80 http://www.senate.mo.gov/15info/pdf-jrnl/DAY40.pdf#page=8
- http://politicmo.com/2015/04/21/why-schaefer-fights-his-political-and-policy-rationale-behind-his-lump-sum- proposal
The Missouri Senate is set to spend as much as $750,000 to renovate the Senate chamber, including removing offices to restore open space above the dais. The Columbia Tribune said that Kurt Schaefer “said he supports the project” to renovate the Senate, but they noted that he said “the cost estimate ‘seems ludicrous’ and ‘absurd.’”1
In 2011, Senator Schaefer opposed repealing a tax credit for seniors and the disabled that was meant to offset their property taxes. However, in 2013, he voted to repeal the credit. He said that the reason he switched was because of how the additional revenue would be spent. In 2011, the proposal was to spend the money on an air freight hub. In 2013, the funding was for a 3% increase for Medicaid providers and for a DHSS program.1
Schaefer voted to issue up to $3 million annually to attract amateur sporting events to Missouri.1
- Yes on SCS SBs 10 & 25, 1/31/13
As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Schaefer could have put his foot down and stopped the state from funding the Rams stadium, which the team has abandoned before it is fully paid for. Instead, every year’s budget has contained a line item for stadium funding, as follows:
- 2009 – HB5, Section 5.215, $12,000,000
- 2010 – HB2005, Section 5.190, $12,000,000
- 2011 – HB5, Section 5.205, $12,000,000 84
- 2012 – HB2005, Section 5.225, $12,000,000
- 2013 – HB5, Section 5.215, $12,000,000
- 2014 – HB2005, Section 5.225, $12,000,000
- 2015 – HB5, Section 5.215, $12,000,000
- 2016 – HB2012, Section 12.151, $12,000,000
- Total: $96,000,000
Capitulating to a threat that Ford would close their Missouri facility if they did not receive special treatment, Schaefer voted for a measure that would give up to $150 million in tax credits to Ford.1
An article entitled “GOP Split Over Taking Federal Funds” outlined his support for accepting funds from the federal government to support increased spending. He said that he supported the bill, remarking, “My solution is that if people don’t like what is coming out of Washington, then the message should be sent through the people we sent to Washington. I share the concerns, but everything weighs in favor of passing it.”2 In an AP article from the same year, he was quoted as saying, “You can make a statement by not taking the money, but by doing that, all you’re doing is penalizing grade-school kids.”3
In 2011, he had used $300 million in federal money to balance the budget when it came through the Senate.4 Just days prior as other Senators were trying to come to a deal to cut some of the money out of the budget, he told the Tribune that he had not “agreed to be part of any deal” to cut $250 million in stimulus projects from the budget.5
- Yes on SCS HCS HB2 as amended, 7/13/10
- http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/politics/gop-split-over-taking-federal-funds/article_c4cd6522-11f7- 5ef3-8b6f-bbe82521c912.html
- http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/lawmakers-wrestle-with-federal-funds/article_883d63bf-628f-5b79- 9a69-00f6ea26b2f2.html
- http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/politics/senate-approves-billion-state-budget/article_52b41f95-87ab- 5116-ade6-3620198b93e3.html
- http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/politics/schaefer-says-he-was-not-involved/article_08a932cc-5dce- 5456-9950-19851aaa46d4.html
Kurt Schaefer voted for a budget accepting $380 million in stimulus funds.1
- Yes vote on HB22, 5/7/09
Schaefer sponsored SB559 (2009), which would have amended the cap on emergency rules to allow those relating to ARRA, the federal stimulus, to last for two years. Ultimately, the bill went nowhere, but it does show that he supported the stimulus.1
In HB11 (2009), the budget included a total of $124,033,466 for TANF benefits, including $8,587,706 from general revenue and $115,445,760 from federal funds.1 In HB2011 (2010), the TANF total was $123,804,057, with $8,358,297 from general revenue and $115,445,760 from federal funds.2 In HB11 (2011), the total was $123,804,057, with $8,358,297 from general revenue and $115,445,760 from federal funds.3 In HB2011 (2012), the total was $127,804,057, with $8,458,297 from general revenue and $119,345,760 from federal funds.4 In HB11 (2013), the total was $146,753,972, with $10,332,291 from general revenue and $136,421,681 from federal funds.5 In HB2011 (2014), the amount was $145,891,835, with $10,332,291 in general revenue and $135,559,544 in federal funds.6 In HB11 (2015), the total was $143,573,198, with $9,712,354 in general revenue and $133,860,844 in federal funds.7 In HB2011 (2016), the total was $122,614,553, with $9,712,354 in general revenue and $112,902,199 in federal funds.8
If you compare his first year in office to last year, TANF saw a funding increase of $19.5 million. It was only in 2016, when he is running for statewide office, that he saw fit to reduce TANF funding over his first year in office.
Schaefer voted in favor of a SNAP bill that extended benefits to some drug felons. (However, it did enact some useful reforms, such as preventing EBT cards from being used at liquor stores, casinos, and strip clubs.)1
- Yes on HCS SCS SB680, 5/15/14
Schaefer was initially reluctant to take a position on Medicaid expansion, saying that “I think in order to make an informed decision we’ve got to know what the cost to the state is, and really at this point nobody knows what that is.”1
Schaefer supported the proposal to expand dental coverage under Medicaid, voting in favor of HB2011 (2014; vetoed by Gov. Nixon)1 , HB11(2015)2 , and HB2011 (2016).3 He also supported the bill that raised the funding to cover the expansion for FY2016, HB384, which implemented a tax amnesty program.4 MO Dental PAC contributed $2,500 to Schaefer’s campaign on 6/2/15, $1,000 to his campaign on 7/9/14, and $2,000 to his campaign on 10/22/14.
- Yes on CCS SS SCS HCS HB2011, 5/8/14
- Yes on CCS SCS HCS HB11, 4/23/15
- Yes on CCS SCS HCS HB2011, 4/21/16
- Yes on SS HB384, 4/7/15