Friday, June 9, 2017

Ruzicka Resignation Coming?

Post-Dispatch reports on Missouri’s Parole Board having little insider jokes and playing word games during parole hearings. Read it here.

Pull Quote: The Missouri Board of Probation and Parole allegedly toyed with prisoners during hearings by trying to get them to say a chosen word or song title of the day, such as “platypus” and “Hound Dog.”  Don Ruzicka, a member of the seven-member board, along with an unnamed government employee were accused of keeping score during the hearings, according to a Department of Corrections inspector general report completed on Nov. 1, 2016.

Each time one of them used a predetermined keyword while interviewing an offender they earned a point. Two points were granted if the offender repeated the word. Occasionally, the duo spiced the game up by wearing matching clothing, like the time they dressed in black shirts, ties, pants and shoes.

And

One Republican recalls when Ruzicka was appointed… “I remember when [Governor Jay] Nixon gave it to him, [the] senate came down and offered to kill [the] appointment… remember we [Republicans] were at 89 then so him leaving dropped us to a closer margin…”

 

Kendrick to Columbia College

While Mizzou goes through lay-offs, Columbia College is adding positions.  See the release here.

Most interesting is Rep. Kip Kendrick as one of the new employees.  He started on Monday as Special Projects Coordinator – Office of the General Counsel.

 

Cornejo Dares Grace

Rep. Robert Cornejo is donating his special session per diem to charity again.  He tweets that he’ll let Dentons lobbyist Brian Grace pick the charity if Grace will wear a romper.  See Grace’s romper tweet here.

 

Mantovani To Run As a Dem?

St. Louis Business Journal reports that former executive Mark Mantovani will run as a Democrat for County Executive against incumbent Steve Stenger. A search of recent large contributions shows no donations to Democrats, but three to Greitens…

$5,500 on June 24, 2015

$5,741 on October 22, 2015

$5,500 on December 26, 2015

 

Greitens Pro-Life Rallies Today

11:30AM – Springfield – University Plaza (with Mike Huckabee)

2PM – Joplin – Butcher’s Block Event Center (with Mike Huckabee)

6PM – St. Charles – 1410 S 5th St.

 

Governor’s Tax Commission Continues Work

The Governor’s Committee on Simple, Fair and Low taxes met again this week in Springfield to a packed crowd. Lobbyist (and former budget director) Jim Moody provided testimony on the how and why’s tax revenue has decreased over time. The big takeaways are that the committee does not seem interested in dismantling the benevolent tax credits but has many questions about the low-income and historic credits.

One superintendent made a compelling case that with a few extra bucks they could really move the needle in terms of outcomes. The commission also heard grumbling on the number of taxing districts in the state.

Despite the rumors that the governor may call special session to run concurrently with veto session to tackle tax reform, others see that as less likely. There are many moving parts to wrangle before drafting a larger reform package and probably not enough time to put it all together and secure legislator buy-in before mid-September.

The committee will meet again on June 12th in Jefferson City. According to the governor’s executive order, their recommendations are due no later than June 30.

 

GOP Rumor Central

Speaker Paul Ryan is coming to St. Louis for a July 10 fundraiser?...

 

Karl Rove making calls into Missouri to donors and high-profile Republicans encouraging them to encourage Attorney General Josh Hawley to run for Senate?

 

How to Endo Opioid Crisis?

NYTimes reports that “[F]or the first time in its history, the Food and Drug Administration asked a drug company to take an opioid medication off the market. The drug, Opana ER — a form of the painkiller oxymorphone hydrochloride — has been heavily abused and linked to outbreaks of H.I.V., hepatitis C and a serious blood disorder among people who crush the pills into powder and inject it. The move by the F.D.A. may signal a more aggressive approach against prescription opioids that are found to be widely abused… The drug’s maker, Endo Pharmaceuticals, responded with a statement saying that it was reviewing the request and “evaluating the full range of potential options as we determine the appropriate path forward.”

See the article here.

Endo Pharmaceutical has no lobbyists registered in Missouri.

 

Follow-Up on Rural Hospital Blues

According to this study (a collaboration between the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, and the North Carolina Rural Health Research Program), Missouri is like nearly all the states with a larger share of children and adults living in small towns and rural areas relying on Medicaid than those in metropolitan areas—and thus more likely to be affected by increases or decreases in services.

In Missouri (see page 18)

Children with Medicaid in non-metro areas = 41%

Children with Medicaid in metro areas = 30%

Adults with Medicaid in non-metro areas = 13%

Adults with Medicaid in metro areas = 8%

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Aaron Baker and Kristian Starner added Burns and McDonnell.

Ronald Randen added Ronald Randen.

Mike Sutherland deleted Missouri Budget Project.

Steven Bunten deleted Union Electric DBA Ameren MO.

Daniel Krassner deleted Represent.us.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Holliday for Proecutor - $7,500 from Ronald Holliday.

We Are Missouri - $8,000 from American Postal Workers Union St. Louis Gateway District Area Local.

We Are Missouri - $62,475 from Missouri AFL-CIO Special Registration.

Citizens for Responsible Government - $8,000 from Phil Klein.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Matthew Michelson, Kevin Stamps, and Lon Lowrey.

Sunday: Reps. Chuck Basye and Gretchen Bangert, and former Speaker Steve Tilley.