Monday, December 4, 2017

Pre-File Watch: House Bills

I started scanning through pre-files last night.  Here’s what caught my eye.  (Let me know what caught yours)….

Return to Issues

Rep. Bill Lant has a trio of bills to go after prevailing wage: HBs 1270, 1271, 1272, plus other reps also file prevailing wage bills: HBs 1293, 1313

Rep. Justin Alferman is back at his ethics reform efforts, banning any lobbyist expenditure for public officials in HB 1303

Bills restricting texting while driving: HBs 1292, 1297, 1298, 1302

Rep. Dan Stacy’s historic tax credit change (HB 1239) would make it an industry carve out and prohibit actual homeowners from using the credit.  Odd, but there have been stranger bills passed.

Emerging Issues

Rep. Elaine Gannon’s (HB 1365) creates an advisory council to make recommendations to the state board of education regarding standards and testing for certain students (see more details below).

Rep. Charlie Davis on truck platooning HB 1295.

Another Rep. Nick Schroer bill (HB 1261) would wave licensing fees for poor folks, young folks, and vets.  Interesting hodge-podge of individuals Maybe next year add firefighters, songwriters and dreamers?  Just a thought.

Dems Dig In

Rep. Deb Lavender’s (HB 1241)  would bring back The Sweep solution to pay for senior services.

Pretty simple bill (HB 1310) from Rep. Crystal Quade but seems like the perfect step to get a handle on the opioid crisis... “By December 31, 2018, the department of health and senior services shall promulgate regulations for all health care professionals with the authority to prescribe opioids consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.  Thereafter, the department shall review such regulations every five years and update them as necessary.”

Rep. Kip Kendrick would enlarge MOHELA’s authority to offer refinancing of student loans HB 1273.

From the Reactionary Factory

Stacy in response to Senate 8 special election: Shall we call it Turk’s Law (HB 1232) which says if you receive votes from a party nominating committee you can’t run as an Independent?

Schroer in response to the Stockley protests: (HB1259) to shut down the shut downs.

And Some Others

HB 1263 would require two tourniquets for every public building.  Sounds a bit drama, but you’ll be happy they’re there when you need them.

No New Parks! HB 1330

HB 1290 would add a flag to state flagpoles.

No Halloween for sex offenders… HB 1306

Do you have the freedom to keep your mouth closed?  Dems go law and order in HB 1309


Gannon’s Education Bill

Rep. Elaine Gannon’s HB 1365 aims to help designated students master critical employment and life skills by creating an optional alternate learning path in high school.  An Advisory Council would be established to conduct research among key stakeholders to do this. The Council composition would include experts from core academic subjects, representatives from job/life transition organizations, job coach, parent of student and graduate, Department of Education. It would also represent a cross section of communities statewide.  The advisory council would make recommendations to the State Board of Education.


Q&A #1: What’s the Early Line for Dems 2020 Statewides?

I know it’s early to start looking around the corner toward 2020, but what else are you going to do on a sunny weekend?  I talked to several Dems, and came away with three thoughts about their 2020 line-up.

First, there’s no consensus.  Every sentence I write has at least one dissenter.  That’s how undefined and fluid things are.  Lots of people are reluctant to put their names out there, but just as reluctant to close the door.

Second, there’s only one factor: Trump.  Trump dominates the landscape for Dems.  After thumping them in Missouri by 19 points, everyone’s trying to peer into the crystal ball and see what a Trump re-elect campaign looks like.  Dems are looking at suburban women as a swing voting bloc, and hoping they get turned off Trumpian tweeting and taunting.

There are two scenarios where Dems think they run the tables in 2020.  One is continuing cascading indictments with the sundry revelations that go with them.  Second is a softening economy.  How do you get there from a low unemployment, full capacity economy?  Ironically it could be an outcome from the tax cuts as bond vigilantes get spooked and interest rates spike.  And remember: the direction of the economy is more important to voter psyche than the actual state of the economy.

Third, the gossip. The big eyebrow-raise: Chris Koster.  Koster, himself, is doing nothing to ferment the talk.  In fact, he’s probably dampening it as much as possible by sticking to his new job and being scarce around the Dem scenes.  But folks look at Koster – and Jason Kander – and say they ran winning race that just happened in the one year where they couldn’t win.   One Dem told me, “Greitens didn’t win.  Does Greitens think he won?  He happened to be out in the surf when the Trump tsunami hit and you barely get dragged into the shore with 51%.  That’s not winning.  That’s luck.”  The point is: any other year and Koster wins.  2020 will be another year.

In the mix (no one committing, and some might even be surprised they’re being mentioned): Nicole Galloway, obviously, assuming she beats back the Republican challenge this year; Party Chair Stephen Webber; state senators from the eastern side: Scott Sifton, Jill Schupp and Gina Walsh; Termed KC Mayor Sly James; and maybe Barry Aycock to bring Dems some geographic range.


Blunt’s Place in History

New York Times reports that “Mr. Blunt, who was flying on Air Force One with Mr. Trump to Springfield, Mo., in August when he found himself being lobbied by the president ‘to wrap up this investigation,’ according to a Republican official familiar with the conversation. Mr. Blunt was not bothered by Mr. Trump’s comments, the official said, because he did not see them bearing a ‘sinister motive.’ But… Mr. Blunt [has] taken steps to limit [his] interaction with Mr. Trump this year, not wanting to create the perception of coziness…”

One MOScouter looks at it this way: Roy Blunt has five years to go in the Senate. Perhaps the best, non-partisan, good-government thing he can do for his Missouri and national legacy is to be the Senator Howard Baker to Trump’s President Richard Nixon: “What did the President know and when did he know it?”


Driving the Week

This week the legislature and the governor’s office meet to come up with a consensus revenue number.  This is a big deal because the budget this year has some moving parts that are all moving in the direction of making things tight…  one MOScouter explains the fear: “If [federal tax cut passes and we don’t decouple], the hit to general revenue is somewhere between $500 to $800 million… We also have additional obligations to budget –  MOSERS, Consolidated Health Care Plan, phased-in tax cuts…”

Today starts the MO Democratic Party’s “Farmer’s Bill of Rights” roadshow (Monday in Jefferson City, Johnson County, Tuesday in St. Joseph and Atchison).  This is their agenda to “take on monopolies and foreign corporations to restore competition and protect the rights of Missouri’s family farmers.”

Wednesday St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman will kick-off his re-election campaign (5:30PM at Starrs in Richmond Heights) with a huge list of supporters, headlined by Jean Carnahan, Bob Holden, Jay Nixon, Jason Kander, Steve Stenger, Charlie Dooley, Pat Dolan, Hazel Erby, Sam Page, Rochelle Walton Gray, Jake Hummel, Jill Schupp, and Gina Walsh.


Greitens and SBOE, Now What?

From Post-Dispatch: Five people whom Greitens appointed to the Missouri Board of Education in the past four months — including one board member appointed just Thursday — voted to remove Missouri Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven. The vote was 5-3. The state board then voted 7-1 to appoint Deputy Commissioner Roger Dorson as interim education commissioner until it finds a new school leader…The five appointees of Greitens declined to comment on their votes after the closed-door meeting.  Among them was new appointee Eric Teeman, who was sworn in just minutes before the meeting to replace board member Claudia Greim, who quit Thursday over the pressure Greitens was using to sack Vandeven…

What Now?

Look for Board President Charlie Shields to call a meeting to establish the parameters of the process to hire a replacement.


Rumorville: Greitens Sought RGA Vice-Chair

I heard from a few folks who usually steer me straight that Governor Eric Greitens ran (one says “ran very hard”) for the Vice Chairman position of the Republican Governors Association, losing to Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts.

What would be the point of being Vice-Chair? “Meet more national donors, get in line to be RGA chair and control a $100M kitty…”  That’s no small point.


eMailbag on Chamber for Energy Reform

Don't over-read the Chamber's position on utility reform.  It was language that was massaged and supported by large industrials and the MIEC.  Pay particular attention to the language calling for a collaborative process and regarding predictable and competitive rates for consumers.


MEC Bits

KC Councilperson Jolie Justus cleared by Missouri Ethics Commission for conflict of interest in KC Airport question.  See it here.

And Margot Martin, Mayor of Frontenac, was fined $2,300 for failure to report some contributions.  See it here.


Other Bits

Citizens for a Better Columbia changed treasurers.   It used to be Yancy Williams and now is John Williams.


New Committees

Freedom to Work was formed.  It’s a campaign committee with William Greim Jr. as its treasurer.  It will be opposing both the effort to repeal right to work, and the CLEAN Missouri ballot initiative.

Cindy Slimp formed a candidate committee (Cindy Slimp For The People) to run for House 133 as a Democrat.  Rep. Curtis Trent is the current incumbent.


Lobbyists Registrations

Shawn D’Abreu added Missouri Health Care for All.

Marc Cataldo added Purdue Pharma.

William Gamble, Cynthia Gamble, David Jackson, Jeffrey Brooks, and Kathryn Gamble added Board of Trustees of Boone County Hospital.

Michael Gibbons and Tricia Workman added Missouri Automobile Dealers Association.

Tricia Workman added Alliance for Responsible Consumer Legal Funding.

Michael Schler deleted Missouri Beer Wholesales Association.

Shawn Rigger and Steve Tilley added City of Arnold.

Ginger Steinmetz deleted Johnston & Associates Inc., MCEA, Bluebird Network LLC, and Missouri Parks Association.

John Fox Arnold deleted Metro, St. Louis Public Library and John Fox Arnold.

Suzanne Loomis deleted Primerica.

Steve Naert deleted Eli Lilly and Company.


$5K+ Contributions

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $26,600 from Sater for Senate.



Happy birthdays to Jennifer Florida and Sean Gagen.