Nasheed blocking Hall’s nomination over Nixon’s tax credit deal

State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed

State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, is stalling the nomination of Daniel Hall to the Missouri Public Service Commission until the Missouri Housing Development Commission releases $13.7 million worth of tax credits.

The funds were held back in December at the urging of the Nixon administration as part of a deal with conservatives in the Senate to avert a filibuster on a tax credit expansion package aiming at incentivizing Boeing to land its 777x production line in the region. Some Democrats, including Nasheed, expressed outrage over not being included in the deal making and accused Nixon of placing corporate tax cuts over low-income housing.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon lashed out at Nasheed during a closed meeting with the Legislative Black Caucus ahead of session, and Nasheed soon resigned her post as chairwoman.

Now she is playing her hand.

At a Senate committee hearing on gubernatorial appointments Wednesday morning, Nasheed stood to block Hall’s appointment to the important commission which regulates the utility and telecommunications industry.

“This is not personal. I just need more information on the rules and regulations,” Nasheed said. When asked after the meeting, Nasheed said her interest in the “rules and regulations” could likely dissipate when the tax credits for low-income housing are released.

Last week, Lt. Gov. Peter Kidner, a Republican who joined Nasheed in expressing anger over the walled issuance of tax credits for nearly 100 development projects, penned a letter to Attorney General Chris Koster and State Treasurer Clint Zweifel – two Democrats who serve with him on the MHDC – urging the two of them to call a special meeting of the commission to approve the projects.

“Boeing has since decided to keep production of the 777X line in Washington state, and our developers, contractors, laborers, and, most importantly, our lowest income residents who depend upon the low-income housing tax credits are unnecessarily stalled for another sixty days,” Kinder wrote. “MHDC’s swift funding approval will ensure these projects re commenced, loan commitments are fulfilled, our laborers and contractors are working, and ultimately our poorest citizens find decent, affordable housing.”

Hall, a Columbia Democrat, was originally appointed to the commission in late September. A Nixon-loyalist, Hall had served previously as Nixon’s legislative director and as senior counsel to then-Attorney General Jay Nixon.

“From his days teaching high school social studies more than two decades ago, Daniel Hall has dedicated his professional life and exceptional talents to public service,” Nixon said at the time. ” thank him for his service and look forward to his continued work on behalf of Missouri families, businesses and communities as a member of the Public Service Commission.”

Republicans had already shown reluctance to Hall’s appointment over questions about the partisan makeup of the commission. That concern was alleviated on Tuesday when the Associated Press reported that State Sen. Scott Rupp, R-St. Charles, was expecting an appointment to the commission in March.

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