Thursday, June 8, 2017

Special Session Call

Yesterday Governor Eric Greitens announced he’d be calling a second special session to focus on pro-life issues.  It will begin Monday.

From the press release: There's a new city law making St. Louis an abortion sanctuary city—where pregnancy care centers can't work the way they're supposed to. Politicians are trying to make it illegal, for example, for pro-life organizations to say that they just want to hire pro-life Missourians. The Senate had a bill to address this during the session—but they failed to act. We're calling a special session to support the people doing this vital work to help women and children. I also believe that we should have common-sense health and safety standards in all medical facilities. A court decision from earlier this year weakened our state's health standards in abortion clinics. So, we're also proposing some basic, common-sense standards to keep Missourians safe. We're proposing, for example, that abortion clinics should have an annual safety inspection. We're proposing that these clinics should have a plan for complications.

And we're proposing a fix that will stop abortion clinics from interfering with emergency responders. If a woman needs help, abortion clinics shouldn't be able to tell an ambulance to come slowly--to not use their lights and sirens--or to go around to the back gate, just because they are worried that an ambulance arriving might make their abortion clinic look bad.

And

KC Star’s Jason Hancock tweets that he received press releases from both Greitens’ non-profit and his campaign touting his rallies on Friday (featuring former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee) for the upcoming special session.

It’s like there’s no difference between the two entities except we’re allowed to see the donors of one, but not the other.

 

Hawley Float Again

In Rollcall… the latest float for Attorney General Josh Hawley to run for Senate.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Republicans have no shortage of House members interested in promotions to the Senate next year. But in three of four states with toss-up races, GOP attorneys general are also readying for potential Senate bids… Republican Rep. Ann Wagner has long been considered the front-runner to take on two-term Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. But some Republicans in Missouri are pushing Attorney General Josh Hawley to run for Senate — even though he’s only been in the job for several months… Hawley is committed to his current job, [Jack] Danforth said, but is weighing a run. “Senate seats don’t come up that often, and particularly now when the Senate is so dysfunctional, there’s a national urgency,” Danforth said… For her part, Wagner would come to the race with an advantage that attorneys general don’t enjoy. Because she already serves in federal office, she can transfer money from her House campaign account to a Senate account. That’s a big deal for Wagner, who, as former finance chairwoman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, has been a strong fundraiser.

She may not have won statewide, but Wagner’s base in the St. Louis area would be helpful, too. “That’s really where these races are won and lost,” a source close to Wagner’s office said….

 

Pemiscot Blues Again

After that depressing article yesterday about families trapped in poverty and disability, here’s one about rural hospitals also focusing on Pemiscot County…

Since 2010, at least 79 rural hospitals have closed across the county, and nearly 700 more are at risk of closing. These hospitals serve a largely older, poorer and sicker population than most making them particularly vulnerable to changes made to Medicaid funding. “A lot of hospitals like ourselves that see a lot of the Medicaid population could get hurt,” says Kerry Noble, CEO of Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems, the public hospital in the poorest county in Missouri.

The GOP’s American Health Care Act would cut Medicaid — the public insurance program for low-income children, elderly and disabled Americans —  by $834 billion, which would result in 14 million more Americans being uninsured in the next 10 years. Even more could lose coverage under the budget proposed by President Donald Trump, which proposes an additional $610 billion in cuts to the program.

That’s a problem for small rural hospitals like Pemiscot Memorial, which are disproportionately dependent on Medicaid. The hospital serves an agricultural county that ranks worst in Missouri for most health indicators including premature deaths, quality of life and even adult smoking rates. Closing the county’s hospital could make those much worse.

But a rural hospital closure affects more than just healthcare. Jobs, property values, even schools can suffer. Pemiscot County already has the state’s highest unemployment rate. Losing the hospital would mean losing the county’s largest employer….

Read full article here.

 

While the Nation Watches Comey…

Some Missouri politicos will be watching the Missouri Housing Development Commission meeting.  See the agenda here.  They’d canceled their recent meetings, presumably as the new governor asserted some control over the body.

And President Donald Trump is set to meet with “mayors and governors” this afternoon about “infrastructure projects.”  Did Greitens make the invite list? If so, will the Central West Ender wear cowboy boots?

 

Galloway on Viburnum Scheme

Press release: Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit that shows more than $100,000 in potentially fraudulent activities over a number of years. Dana Mayberry served as the Viburnum City Clerk for 14 years. After losing her reelection bid last year, city officials identified discrepancies in accounts that had been under her control. Mayberry admitted to stealing at least $25,000 in city funds. The mayor contacted law enforcement and the State Auditor's Office to investigate. The audit describes an elaborate scheme that involved adjusting customer utility accounts and then destroying records and other evidence…

Read the audit here.

Virburnum is represented by Rep. Paul Fitzwater and Sen. Gary Romine.

 

Bits

Someone was polling RTW earlier this week, asking how respondents thought it would impact the economy…

 

On hand for Kansas City University's Joplin campus ribbon cutting ceremony earlier this week… Joplin Mayor Michael Seibert, Ron Richard, Bill White, Charlie Davis, Bill Reiboldt, and former Reps. Tom Flanigan and Kevin Wilson.

 

Facebook is rolling out a new product to let legislators see what articles are popular with their constituents.  See it here.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Zach Brunnert and David McCracken added Corizon Health LLC.

Tony Dugger deleted Isle of Capri – Cape Girardeau, Isle of Capri – Kansas City, Isle of Capri Casinos Inc, Lady Luck Casino Caruthersville - Isle of Capri Casinos, and Isle of Capri – Boonville.

 

$5K+ Contributions

STL Citizens for Safety - $100,000 from David Steward.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $5,001 from Friends of Rob Vescovo.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $5,124 from Citizens for Rocky Miller.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Tricia Workman.