Thursday, April 27, 2017

Managed Care Moves Forward

Sen. Rob Schaaf’s budget amendment to take out the managed care expansion failed yesterday.  It removes one more piece of uncertainty

One observer noted that Schaaf’s amendment did quite well within the Republican Caucus.  Eight Republicans joined him.  But only one Dem, Sen. Jason Holsman.  “If most of the Dems would have been with Schaaf he would have won. Sort of ironic because he has been pretty good to Dems…”


Schaaf: SB305 Should Be Priority

Schaaf has not been shy about standing up and slowing down the Senate.  He’s said he wants the body to go to gift ban legislation.  This is a priority of the governor – though Schaaf will presumably add language to make the governor’s political non-profit subject to disclosure laws.

We’ll see what the Senate GOP Caucus decides to do.  Will it follow Schaaf’s lead or try a different priority and risk losing another day, among the dwindling and increasingly precious days?


New Missouri Expenditures

With the non-profit curtain pulled tight, we’ll never know who is contributing money to the attck ads being run by Greitens’ non-profit New Missouri Inc.

But I don’t think we’ll ever know how much or how they’ve spent it either.  With radio ads, digital ads and robo-calls, there’s a fair amount of money spent attacking Sen. Rob Schaaf.  But I don’t think it qualifies as a “committee” under Missouri ethics laws.  And since they were attempting to influence a ballot issue, they don’t have to file non-committee expenditures either.

Completely and entirely non-transparent.


Remington Polling on ESA

Supporters of SB313 are hopeful it will be back to the Senate floor soon.  Remington Group polled the issue over the weekend [not for me].  63% of Republicans said they were in favor, as well as 64% of conservatives.

Survey conducted April 22 through April 23, 2017. 1,467 likely voters participated in the survey. Survey weighted to match expected turnout demographics for the 2018 General Election. Margin of Error is +/-2.6%. Totals do not always equal 100% due to rounding.

Q: Do you support or oppose allowing parents to use funds from an education savings account to pay for their children’s elementary and secondary education? The funds could be used on things like tuition, textbooks, online courses and tutoring.

Support: 50%

Oppose: 36%

Unsure: 14%


And Another Priority – Among the Others?

For Republicans might be HB 1194 which would overturn the City of St. Louis’ minimum wage.  It was passed in the House March 9, and has been sitting on the Senate’s calendar for a while. Earlier this week, the Missouri Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to the city’s ordinance.

Mayor Lyda Krewson statement: "This is a win for our city's working families. It's about reducing inequality and expanding opportunities. And this is good for our city's economy. Our businesses benefit when people have more money to spend."


Richard Investigation?

KOAM reports on the possible investigation into Senate Pro Tem Ron Richard’s contributions.

See it here.

Pull Quotes: A local state senator might be investigated by federal officials after accepting a contribution.  A government watchdog group has filed a complaint against Ron Richard, who represents Jasper and Newton counties. The watchdog group, and some state legislators, contend Richard should not have accepted a donation from a Joplin-based company that manufactures shingles. 

TAMKO responded to our request for an interview with a letter from their attorney, which said, "Mr. Humphreys exercised his constitutional right to donate money to political campaigns of both Republicans and Democrats."

TAMKO's attorney also warned us. "The prudent path is for KOAM to avoid repeating any specific unfounded allegations against Mr. Humphreys that has the potential to improperly damage the reputations of Mr. Humphreys and TAMKO."


Galloway Ferguson Audit

Auditor Nicole Galloway gave the Ferguson Municipal Court a “poor” rating, the lowest grade.  See the audit hereSee her tweet here.

From the press release:  The audit found a court in disarray with disorganized case files, including some housed in an unsecured storage garage. This caused water and mold damage to many of the court records. Uncooperative and at times combative court and city personnel caused multiple delays that prevented audit staff from gaining access to the files necessary to complete their review. The audit also found $26,000 in illegal fees charged to citizens.

Ferguson is represented by Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, and Reps. Courtney Curtis and Cora Faith Walker.

Angry Avery?

Former Rep. Jim Avery writes on Facebook about mulling a primary challenge to Sen. Andrew Koenig

I don't want to get involved in politics but I am seriously considering running for office to go back to Jefferson City since the current people love passing more and more laws that hurt me and my family. I thought as conservatives we liked less government not more, guess I was wrong. To top it off my current elected official who I would run against keeps voting against lawyers and I am sure he will vote against teachers too. Robin is just about mad enough that she will support me running. Decisions, decisions. And for the record I love my State Rep, I don't worry about his voting.


MissourAH rhymes with DUH

Majority Forward is already running ads supporting Senator Claire McCaskillHear the ad here.  There’s a real focus on her rural roots.  In addition to listing small towns with which she has ties, the ad says “rural” five times – as many times as they mention the candidate.

Perhaps imagining St. Louisan Ann Wagner as their opponent, their hope is to cut into the usual Republican out-state margins.

The commercial fatal flaw: pronouncing the state MissourEE.


eMailbag: On Chambers

[Y]ou left out Austin Chambers!  This 21 yr old went to a national  publication. And spoke on the record and lobbed threats at MO Senators! Are you kidding me!!??... First rule as a staffer is do NOT become the story…


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Auditor Nicole Galloway Reception – Wilson’s home – Columbia – 5:30PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Jewell Patek added Missouri Amusement Machine Operators Association, and City of Greenwood.

Dale Amick added Western Equipment Dealers Assn., and Missouri Farmers Care; and deleted Southwestern Assn.

Deanne Hemphill and Dave Berry deleted Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets.



Happy birthday to former Sen. Ryan McKenna and former Rep. Tony Dugger.