MOScout Daily Update: Early Senate Committee Chair Talk - MO Ripe for Medicaid IP? - Sifton PAC Formed and more...

Hegeman for Approps Chair?

Senate watchers believe that Sen. Dan Hegeman is likely to be named Senate Appropriations Chair.  An announcement is expected this week. 

The budget process begins soon as the governor’s office and legislative leaders will sit down to hash out a consensus revenue estimate.  Those discussions will take place against the backdrop of lethargic state tax revenues despite a booming economy.


A few folks say they believe that Sen-elect. Tony Luetkemeyer will be given the gavel to the Judiciary Committee.  One reason the freshman might land with assignment so quickly in his Senate career: there’s aren’t many lawyers in the Republican Caucus.

One observer thinks that Judiciary with Luetkemeyer at the helm will be more hospitable for tort reform legislation than it was under Bob Dixon’s hand.  But also that he’s not a terrible draw for MATA; as an attorney, he’ll bring an understanding of the law that will produce less sledgehammer, more nuanced bills.


Sifton PAC Started

A new political action committee, Show Me Leadership PAC, has been formed in support of Sen. Scott Sifton.  The treasurer of the committee is Michael McNerney (see a bio here).

This is the continuation of a post-Sauer Amendment trend: PACs established to fund independent expenditures not subject to the campaign contribution limits.

What It Means

This appears to be a tangible step by Sifton to lay the groundwork for a 2020 statewide run – perhaps governor.


Sixteen Thirty Fund Hires Robbins

Sixteen Thirty Fund hired Thomas Robbins as its Missouri lobbyist.  Sixteen Thirty (see their website here) contributed over $4 million to the Raise Up campaign this year which successfully passed a minimum wage increase.

What It Means

The best guess is that Sixteen Thirty is playing defense again any possible legislative action to dilute the Prop B measure.


Jami Files for Board Prez

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed filed to run for St. Louis City President of the Board of Aldermen.  She is taking on three-term incumbent, Lewis Reed, as well as ultra-progressive Alderwoman Megan Ellyia Green.

Money Race – October COHs

Nasheed: $375,169.

Reed: $223,604.

Green: $19,529.


MO Ripe for Medicaid Expansion?

The LATimes had a piece earlier this month about “red” states which voted – via ballot initiative – to expand Medicaid.  See it here.

Nebraska state Sen. Adam Morfeld, like healthcare advocates in many conservative states, was beginning to lose hope last year that his poorest constituents would ever get health coverage through the Affordable Care Act… Today, Morfeld and advocates in Idaho and Utah are celebrating the unthinkable: Voters in these three deeply red states backed ballot measures last week to expand Medicaid eligibility through the 2010 healthcare law, often called Obamacare.

The victories — which bring to 36 the number of states that have elected to expand Medicaid coverage — were the product of a model of political action that may become increasingly common across the country in coming years, particularly in traditionally Republican states.

The model relies on state ballot measures to circumvent state legislatures and governors’ offices dominated in many states by the most conservative wing of the GOP.

It taps into popular support for traditionally liberal ideas — such as extending health coverage to the poor and raising the minimum wage. And the model brings together local activism with funding and strategic guidance from a national organization called the Fairness Project, a nonprofit advocacy group founded three years ago by a California labor union….

Today the Fairness Project is already eyeing possible Medicaid expansion campaigns in other non-expansion states that allow ballot initiatives, including Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming.


NYTimes writes about Dayton Ohio’s success in reducing fatal drug overdoses.  See it here.

Overdose deaths in Montgomery County, anchored by Dayton, have plunged this year… The county had 548 overdose deaths by Nov. 30 last year; so far this year there have been 250, a 54 percent decline… Mayor Nan Whaley thinks nothing has had as big an impact on overdose deaths as Gov. John Kasich’s decision to expand Medicaid in 2015, a move that gave nearly 700,000 low-income adults access to free addiction and mental health treatment. In Dayton, that’s drawn more than a dozen new treatment providers in the last year alone, including residential programs and outpatient clinics that dispense methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone, the three medications approved by the F.D.A. to treat opioid addiction. “It’s the basis — the basis — for everything we’ve built regarding treatment,” Ms. Whaley said in an interview at City Hall. “If you’re a state that does not have Medicaid expansion, you can’t build a system for addressing this disease.”


New Committees

Show Me Leadership PAC was formed.  Its treasurer is Michael McNerney.

Cora Hanf formed a candidate committee (Citizens To Elect Cora Hanf) to run for House 139 as a Democrat.

Jeffrey Hill formed a candidate committee (Jeffery Hill For St Louis) to run for St. Louis City Alderman (18th Ward) as a Democrat.

Robert Westfall formed a candidate committee (Westfall For City Council) to run for Kansas City Council Person (District 4 At-Large).


$5K+ Contributions

Jobs with Justice Ballor Fund - $10,000 from Proteus Action League.



Happy birthday to Ward Cook.



To State Board of Education commissioner Peter Herschend on the passing of his wife JoDee Herschend.  See the Springfield News-Leader story here.