Thursday, June 1, 2017

Rumorville: Next Special Session Coming

Rumors are running hot and heavy about the next special session that the governor will be calling.  Some think the call will come as early as today.  There’s various permutations among the rumor, but the one consistent thread is that it will deal with pro-life issues, most probably the “sanctuary city” issue raised by Sen. Bob Onder in his recent op/ed.

That would be a little ironic because that legislation was carried by Rep. Tila Hubrecht who is resigning tomorrow for family reasons.  See her bill here.

Rumors on the dates are all over the place, but they all have the special happening this month (June), with many thinking it would be the week after Father’s Day.  We’ll see...

On the one hand it’s smart of Governor Eric Greitens to stick to an issue on which all Republicans agree.  On the other hand, this will likely put more stress on the already fragile Senate, and which won’t help next regular legislative session.


Williams: J’Accuse!

Dr. Randall Williams, the new director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, put out a statement yesterday accusing previous administrations of not complying with Missouri law…

“Since 1979, Missouri law has required providers of abortion services and those who treat abortion complications to report every complication they diagnose or treat after an abortion to the Department of Health and Senior Services within 45 days. It has recently come to my attention that this law was not complied with under previous administrations. This is unacceptable… The Department of Health and Senior Services will rigorously enforce this law in the future…”


Next Opioid Front?  OH Sues Drug-Makers

NYTimes reports: The State of Ohio filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the pharmaceutical industry over the opioid epidemic, accusing several drug companies of conducting marketing campaigns that misled doctors and patients about the danger of addiction and overdose… Defendants in the case include Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Johnson & Johnson, Endo Pharmaceuticals, Allergan and others.

Here in MO

Allergan registered its first lobbyist yesterday (see registrations below); Chet Steckler and Linda Barefoot represent Purdue Pharma LP, Johnson & Johnson are represented by Jim and Chris Moody; and Teva and Endo don’t have any Missouri lobbyists registered.


Follow-Up on Indian Casinos – Greitens Dark Money

From former Carnahan staffer:  Our state became eligible for Indian gaming after voters approved riverboat gaming in 1992. Federal law says that a state with legal gambling must allow Indian gaming on Indian lands within the state, but Missouri had no Indian lands.  A tribe could buy Missouri land and have the Dept of Interior (Bureau of Indian Affairs) designate the land as Indian land, but only if the governor of the state approves.  The answer to all inquiries [under Carnahan’s direction] was “No.” Having riverboat casinos was going to be bad enough, the governor thought, without making the problem worse with on-land casinos.

Besides – and this is something the current governor and everyone else should understand if federal law is the same as in '93 – when the governor approves the tract of land to be Indian land for building the casino, the state loses jurisdiction to tax the casino. So, while the state was going to get 18% of the revenues from the riverboats, the state would get nothing from casinos that are located on "Indian land." If that is still the case, one wonders whether our current governor will grant this approval, regardless of how much the tribe pays in semi-dark money to Committee for a New Missouri, Inc.

See a Forbes article on taxes and Indian casinos here.


End of the Gas Chamber Era Coming?

Columbia Missourian reports on Humane Society helping Moberly get rid of its “gas chamber” for animals.  See it here.

For the past several years The Humane Society has been working around the country to shut these facilities down, either through legislation or by shelters voluntarily dismantling them. Over 70 have shut down since 2013.  They first offered the Moberly Animal Shelter a grant of $3,000 to use for general shelter improvements, training, equipment, etc., to completely destroy the chamber back in 2015 but they said no at that time.  A few they got back in touch to see if the funds were still available and it moved forward from there.  The Humane Society believes there are several other chambers still in existence in the state and have been in talks with some of them.


University of Missouri Lay-Offs

Post-Dispatch reports that “The University of Missouri System began a major round of layoffs at its Columbia headquarters Wednesday in a cost-cutting move that appears to at least initially be affecting its lobbying and public-relations operations. As of Wednesday afternoon, several sources confirmed numerous employees had been let go in the university relations department. However, the extent of the job losses at the headquarters was not clear. The 18-person university relations department houses federal and state lobbyists, the custodian of records and nine communications employees. The layoffs precede a big announcement expected Friday from system president Mun Choi on the final decisions about budget cuts at the system and all four campuses: Columbia, Rolla, St. Louis and Kansas City…”  See it here.



“The Twenty-Second Circuit Judicial Commission announced the panel of three nominees to be submitted to Governor Eric Greitens to fill the circuit judge vacancy created by the retirement of Judge John J. Riley. Those nominated by the commission are: Theresa Counts Burke, Katherine M. Fowler, and Lynne R. Perkins…”


The Missouri Republican Party named Keelie Broom as its new Communications Director.


Governing Magazine – which one MOScout reader calls “a serious wonk magazine with serious wonk readership” – dings Governor Eric Greitens for his many secret money ways.  See it here.


The state is bidding out an exercise program…. From the RFP: “State employees have had the opportunity to participate in aerobic group exercise classes at the Truman State Office Building in Jefferson City…Exercise classes were held Monday through Friday from 12:05pm to 12:45pm.  Exercise classes were instructor led and included the following exercise programs:  1) Circuit Training  2) Abs Class  3) Step Aerobics  4) Kickboxing  5) Stability Ball…”


Missouri TimesBenjamin Peters writes that “[Rep. Rocky] Miller is now in a race for the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council At Large, and the general election is scheduled for June 3… Miller is one-sixteenth Cherokee, and still recalls the trips to Oklahoma with his grandfather…” See it here.


Good luck to KMOX’s Debbie Monterrey who’s throwing out the first pitch today at Busch.


Lobbyists Registrations

Peter Magargee added Allergan USA Inc.


$5K+ Contributions

CLEAN Missouri - $27,561 from Our Missouri.

Preserve Middle Class America - $50,000 from United Food & Commercial Workers Local 88.



Happy birthdays to Reps. Steve Lynch and Randy Pietzman, former Rep. John Wright, and Miles Ross.