Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Munzy to Pre-file Industrial Hemp Bill

Pre-filing of bills starts this Friday.  Look for Sen. Brian Munzlinger to offer an industrial hemp bill that will mirror Missouri Farm Bureau policies as it relates to legal hemp, and therefore likely remove MFB’s past opposition.

Munzy’s language – “growth, cultivation, or marketing of industrial hemp” – is taken directly from the Federal Farm Bill. That coupled with the definition of hemp and having a registry permitting processes through the Department of Agriculture makes this new bill completely federally compliant.

Munzlinger is said to believe that this bill could help add another crop to rotations in Missouri’s fields.

The Missouri Farm Bureau gathers for their annual convention this weekend at Osage Beach.


Q&A #1: Will Republicans Move RTW Vote to August?

Short answer:  Yes.  They’ll certainly try, and probably succeed.


The passage of right to work legislation last session was a landmark for Republicans.  But the victory was short-lived as unions got up off the mat and invoked a rarely used referendum mechanism.  They gathered signatures and the issue has been certified to go before the voters in November.

That’s if the legislature does nothing.  But because Republican legislators fear the issue could spark heavy union – and Democratic – turnout, they are likely to act to move the issue to the August primary battle.  That would prevent the issue from impacting the US Senate race or the local state House races due to higher Democratic turnout.

From Article III, Section 52(b) of the constitution…. The veto power of the governor shall not extend to measures referred to the people. All elections on measures referred to the people shall be had at the general state elections, except when the general assembly shall order a special election…   

(One reader notes: A common misconception is that if the general assembly picks a different date is that it has to be August. August works but it could be ordered for June (have to be early enough in session so you would not have ballot issues) or September for instance. All kinds of reasons not to do that but…)

With supermajorities in both chambers, the Republicans obviously have the votes to carry out the date change.  The Senate is where things get problematic.  This will likely be seen as filibuster-worthy by Democrats.  If that happens the Republicans will have to decide if the date change is worth a PQ, if there are 17 votes in their caucus to use the PQ on it.  That gets real messy

The alternative scenario is that Republicans introduce something noxious to labor – prevailing wage, for example – and then negotiate it away for the date change.  Would Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh bite at the deal?

We’ll see….


Wasinger Fundy

Thursday at the Racquet Club in Ladue, Republican auditor candidate David Wasinger is having a fundraiser.  It’s a pretty good looking host committee with several folks who don’t mind writing big checks… Gil Bickel, August Busch III, Nathan McKean, and Dave and Suzie Spence, for example.

What It Means

I continue to forecast Wasinger besting Rep. Paul Curtman in a Republican primary based on appears to be a widen gap of financial wherewithal.


SBOE: Here Come the Lawsuits

Post Dispatch reports (see it here)… “Gov. Eric Greitens’ attempt to sack the state’s education czar is headed to court. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, former state school board member Tim Sumners of Joplin is asking a judge to decide whether the first-year governor broke the law when he removed Sumners from the board earlier this month. The outcome of the lawsuit could determine the fate of state school Commissioner Margie Vandeven, who has been in the governor’s crosshairs this year. According to the lawsuit, Greitens broke the law when he removed Sumners from the state Board of Education just three weeks after appointing him. Sumners said he was booted because he wasn’t going along with Greitens’ plan to remove Vandeven from her $194,000 per year post….”

What’s Next?

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday. That’s the day before the next State Board of Education meeting…


A second lawsuit was filed by Springfield teacher also relating to the bungling appointment process.  See it here.


eMailbag on Vescovo’s Hire

“I’ve gone toe to toe with Leslie Korte enough times to know she will be a tremendous voice of reason for the caucus and has a great legal mind.  [Floor Leader Rob] Vescovo could have picked another dude from the “Bro Club” so picking Korte shows he’s looking for something more than just business as usual…”


Gubby Appts

Governor Eric Greitens appointed Craig Hellman, of Washington, as Circuit Judge for the 20th Judicial Circuit, which covers Franklin, Gasconade, and Osage Counties.

He also appointed John Hannegan, a Republican of St. Charles, to the State Lottery Commission.

And, Rep. Steve Cookson was appointed to the Organ Donation Advisory Committee.


House Website Gets Upgrade

We will transition to the new House of Representatives website beginning [today] at 10AM.

The new design is meant to simplify access to member, committee, and legislative data on a variety of devices including tablets and smartphones.  The site is organized into several “dashboards”, which are intended to make tracking the legislative process easier and more intuitive…It is our goal to provide an online repository of information that is both highly informational and easily accessible. We encourage you to utilize the new site extensively and provide us with any feedback regarding areas that could use additional improvement…


Mazur to Brazen

Mindy Mazur announced on Facebook… “I'm excited to share some personal news -- I've started a new position as the Executive Director of Brazen St. Louis, where I will be focused on empowering growth-seeking women entrepreneurs grow their businesses…”  About Brazen.


New Senate Staff

On the Senate website, Kirsten Cloyd is listed for District 18 (Munzlinger), and Denia Fields is listed for District 23 (Eigel).


New Committees

John Simmons formed a candidate committee (Citizens For Simmons) to run for House 109 as a Republican.  The current incumbent, Rep. Paul Curtman, is termed.  We’re looking at primary here.

Betsy Peters formed a candidate committee (Betsy Peters For Council) to run for Columbia Council Person Ward 6. Her treasurer is Scott Brundage.


Help Wanted

Supreme Court of Missouri seeks Government Relations Counsel.  This position consists of highly responsible, professional legal work for the Supreme Court of Missouri. Work involves representing the Missouri Judiciary in the General Assembly and providing legal staff support to the Judicial Finance Commission as provided under section 477.600.10 RSMo. Work also includes providing assistance to Supreme Court judges, employees, and various committees appointed by the Court.

Salary/Benefits: Starting salary range $71,004 to $74,220 annually depending on experience and qualifications. This position is eligible for full benefits and leave accruals provided through the State of Missouri.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements: Candidate shall have graduated from an accredited law school and possess a current license to practice law in Missouri.  Candidate also shall have substantial experience as a lobbyist, legislative liaison, government relations consultant or substantially equivalent experience representing an organization’s interests in the Missouri General Assembly or related experience.

Application: Qualified candidates shall submit resumes and at least three professional references via e-mail to .gov.  Interested parties may refer to the Missouri Courts website ( and clicking on “Careers” in the footer for additional details.

Applications accepted until position is filled.  Preference given to applications received on or before December 12, 2017.


Today’s Events

Powered by Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

Sen. Jill Schupp – Home of Harvey Wallace and Madeleine Elkins, St. Louis – 5:30PM.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Mike Bernskoetter and former Rep. Joe Don McGaugh.