Friday May 5, 2017

Budget Done

All the hand-wringing, teeth-gnashing, dooms-day predicting melted away as the House took up the budget conference committee reports, passed them, sent them over to the Senate which did likewise, finishing last night with a completed budget ahead of today’s constitutional deadline.

The Senate even seemed “functional.”

In order to stem some cuts while keeping the renter’s circuit-breaker, Sens. Kiki Curls and Ryan Silvey hatched a plan to “sweep” unused fund from accounts across the state.  Their amendment read “the commissioner of administration shall transfer into the general revenue fund thirty-five million four hundred thousand dollars from the unexpended balance remaining from all fees, funds and moneys from whatsoever source received by any department, board, bureau, commission, institution, official, or agency of the state government by virtue of any law or rule or regulation made in accordance with any law…”

It helped alleviate those with heartburn over cutting senior services or hitting low-income renters.  This change to HCB3 passed with a strong bipartisan 28-5 vote.  Pro Tem Ron Richard even praised Silvey.

It was a cats-dogs-living-together moment.

I assume it will pass the House because it’s the path of least resistance, still it will face some critics there for its a band-aid approach. One texted me: “If enacted, [it] could only solve the problem for a year, [and] would need to be picked up general revenue next year.”

 

More Dark Money Attacks Coming

Springfield News-Leader’s Will Schmitt reports that Governor Eric Greitens’ political non-profit is prepping to hit Sens. Bob Dixon, Jason Holsman, Doug Libla, Gary Romine and Ryan Silvey with negative ads.  See it here.  It’s hard to understand why Team Greitens would be doing this just as the Senate begins debate on legislation to curb the use of legal machinery to circumvent campaign finance laws on transparency.

Pull Quote:  "Politician Bob Dixon is blocking Blue Alert," one such ad prototype says. "Tell him to stop." Adding a Blue Alert system — which would broadcast information about people suspected of assaulting law enforcement officers — has been a priority for Greitens since November. A Blue Alert bill has passed through the House and awaits approval from the Senate… Asked by the News-Leader on Wednesday, [Austin] Chambers would not say when the images would be disseminated or whether a decision had been made to publish them. The ads do not cite specific examples of senators' opposition to a Blue Alert system, and Chambers did not provide an on-the-record response when asked what was meant by "blocking Blue Alert."

Holsman told the News-Leader on Thursday that he had not spoken against Blue Alert but understood why the Greitens nonprofit would depict him as obstructing the pro-police measure.

"They think that that anti-cop villain portrayal is going to bring enough pressure on us to acquiesce to dropping our demands for ethics reform," Holsman said….

 

Silvey Proposes Senate Rule Change

In what appears to be the continuing campaign to weaken the role of the pro tem in the Senate, Sen. Ryan Silvey filed Senate Resolution 917 which would have the lieutenant governor decide points of order in the chamber.

SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 917

Notice of Proposed Rule Change

Notice is hereby given by the Senator from the Seventeenth District of the one day notice required by rule of intent to put a motion to adopt the following rule change:

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Ninety-ninth General Assembly, First Regular Session, that Senate Rule 10 be amended to read as follows:

“Rule 10. The [president pro tem] lieutenant governor shall be parliamentarian of the senate and may decide all points of order, and in his absence such points of order may be decided by the chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence,

except in either case, the point of order may be referred by the then acting parliamentarian, to the Committee on Parliamentary Procedure for consideration and determination. All rulings on points of order shall be subject to an appeal to the senate and all questions and points of order shall be noted by the secretary with the decision thereon. (See also Rule 27.)”

 

Missourinet: Greitens May Call Special on RealID

Missourinet reports on RealID.  Missouri is one of the state which is out of compliance which could lead to great inconveniences for Missourians early next year. See it here.

Pull Quote: Representative Kevin Corlew (R-Kansas City) has one of a slew of bills to open the door for the state to issue driver’s licenses that meet the federal REAl ID requirements.  His measure stands the best chance of passing because it’s the only one to have moved through one of the chambers… One reason that Real ID legislation hasn’t been passed into law is a hope of some lawmakers that the federal government, under a new Republican administration, would scrap the requirement for storing information.  They were advised by Governor Greitens in early March to wait and see if the White House under President Trump would make changes to existing law… Governor Greitens recently stated he would consider calling a special session of the legislature if lawmakers don’t pass a REAL ID compliant law.

 

Governor Withdraws Appointments

Governor Eric Greitens asked for some of his appointments to be withdrawn. They were: Amelia Counts to Missouri State University Board of Governors; James Cunningham Jr., Carla Holste, Courtney Kovachevich, Joseph Plaggenberg, Alice Chang Ray, and Eric R. Reece to the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board; and Barth Fraker to the State Board of Senior Services.

 

Help Wanted

The Nature Conservancy seeks External Affairs Manager. “The External Affairs Manager develops strategic partnerships with relevant agencies, conservation organizations, and industry to advance TNC’s conservation agenda. S/he serves as a point of contact to inform Conservancy partners and elected and appointed officials of Conservancy policies and positions. In conjunction with staff and trustees, s/he will develop and implement a legislative strategy for Missouri General Assembly members to position TNC as a conservation resource and leader. S/he will educate the board of trustees and staff members regarding proposed and current policies and practices that may affect TNC’s conservation priorities. The External Affairs Manager will work with trustees and TNC’s lobbyist to inform and advocate positions on legislation or state issues as they affect the Conservancy’s work. S/he may organize grass roots efforts to mobilize constituents on TNC legislative/business priorities…”  See the ad here.

 

Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

ALEC Spring Task Force Summit – Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Erik Henry-Smetana deleted Curators of The University of Missouri.

Douglas Poore deleted Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC.

Joseph Treadway deleted McManus Construction.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Democratic Committee for Missouri 32rd Senatorial District - $5,500 from Elliott Denniston.

SmartKC - $5,479 from Miles McMahon.

Connect KC - $15,000 from Kansas City Power & Light.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $5,001 from Friends of Elijah Haahr.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Friends of Todd Richardson.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to former Rep. David Day, John Hickey, and Michael Hafner.

Saturday: Rep. Tom Hannegan.

Sunday: Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, Sen. Scott Sifton, Rep. Don Phillips, and Rowden’s Stuart Murray.