Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Senate Spasms

Yesterday the Senate got stalled on the first order of business: reading the journal.  First Sen. Rob Schaaf offered an amendment to the Senate Journal. Sen. Doug Libla then offered a substitute amendment.  Sen. Gary Romine followed amending the substitute amendment. And by the time Sen. Jason Holsman moved to postpone the debate on these amendments until after session they were half-way up the creek.

It was that kind of start to the week.

These senators were clogging up the machinery because they wanted Senate leadership to fast-track ethics legislation.

Assistant Floor Leader Bob Onder apparently worked out an accommodation with them, and the Senate was able to perform its important duty of the day – naming members to the budget conference committee.  (See them below).

Sen. Schaaf’s legislation requiring disclosure from “dark money” sources will be heard in committee this morning.

The View from the House

The House is looking at the Senate and throwing their hand sup in the air…  At this point do you have to consider Ron Richard an honorary member of the Schaaf/Silvey/Romine group? He gives them whatever they want without a fight. At what point does the counter revolution start and the rank and file senators get tired of the constant obstruction and Richard constantly capitulating to the trouble…

 

SB313 Voted Out of General Laws

Sen. Andrew Koenig’s SB313 creating educational savings accounts was voted out of the House General Laws Committee 7-5 yesterday.  The only Republican voting No was Rep. Chuck Basye. (Interesting to note that he’s the chair of the Educational Saving Account Sub-Committee).

There was some controversy that the bill was referred to General Laws instead of Education.  It’s said that General Laws Chair Robert Cornejo was willing to follow instructions to accept no amendments, whereas Elementary and Secondary Education Chair Kathy Swan would have wanted to make changes.

With nine days of session left, the House can’t roll the dice with sending anything back to the Senate.  Thus, no amendments.

Cornejo expressed his concern with the impact of the Pre-K phase in, but others worried about little technical issues within the bill.

For example, in the transfer portion of the bill, the Senate failed to tell the sending districts how to set their tuition.  So a district could set their tuition at $0 and not have to pay the receiving districts anything. Also, there is a fund set up to cover the difference between sending and receiving.  For example if Normandy costs $10K and Clayton costs $15K then Normandy is on the hook for the difference. The extra $5K would/could come from a new fund.  However if the legislature does not appropriate those funds then Normandy would be out of luck.

Another possible flaw: any school district that has an underperforming building would be caught up in transfer program statewide.

Koenig agreed there are some issues, but said they can be changed later… that is, next year.

And

Former Sen. Jane Cunningham testified on the bill, though she spent most of her time railing against her former colleagues Treasurer Eric Schmitt and David Pearce – now in the Treasurer’s office.

“A fox, however is watching the hen house, and I have a recommendation.  You need a hawk to watch the fox.  For instance, the language gives the Treasurer the right with the Dept. of Revenue to promulgate rules…”

Translation: The fox in this scenario is Schmitt, the hens are ESAs, and the hawk is Rep. Jay Barnes.  Seriously.

 

Budget Conferees

SCS HCS HB 2: Sens. Brown, Sater, Cunningham, Curls and Nasheed; and Reps. Fitzpatrick, Alferman, Rowland (155), Butler and Kendrick.

SCS HCS HB 3: Sens. Brown, Sater, Hegeman, Curls and Nasheed; and Reps. Fitzpatrick, Alferman, Rowland (155), Kendrick and McGee.

SCS HCS HB 4: Sens. Brown, Sater, Wallingford, Curls and Holsman; and Reps. Fitzpatrick, Alferman, Conway (104), Butler and Kendrick.

SCS HCS HB 5: Sens. Brown, Sater, Wallingford, Curls and Nasheed; and Reps. Fitzpatrick, Alferman, Bahr, Butler and Razer.

SCS HCS HB 6: Sens. Brown, Sater, Hegeman, Curls and Holsman; and Reps. Fitzpatrick, Alferman, Redmon, Butler and Dunn.

SCS HCS HB 7: Sens. Brown, Sater, Cunningham, Curls and Walsh; and Reps. Fitzpatrick, Alferman, Redmon, Butler and Dunn.

SCS HCS HB 8: Sens. Brown, Sater, Wallingford, Curls and Nasheed; and Reps. Fitzpatrick, Alferman, Conway (104), Butler and May.

SCS HCS HB 9: Sens. Brown, Sater, Hegeman, Curls and Nasheed; and Reps. Fitzpatrick, Alferman, Conway (104), Butler and May.

SCS HCS HB 10: Sens. Brown, Sater, Cunningham, Curls and Nasheed; and Reps. Fitzpatrick, Alferman, Wood, Lavender and Quade.

SCS HCS HB 11: Sens. Brown, Sater, Cunningham, Curls and Nasheed; and Reps. Fitzpatrick, Alferman, Wood, Lavender and Quade.

SCS HCS HB 12: Sens. Brown, Sater, Hegeman, Curls and Nasheed; and Reps. Fitzpatrick, Alferman, Bahr, Lavender and Merideth (80).

And

Sen. Ryan Silvey – vice-chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee – was left off the conference committees.  Everyone assumes it’s payback for his voting against labor legislation, backing accusations against Pro Tem Ron Richard, voting for fully funding of the formula, asking about the Joplin airport earmark on the floor… and the list goes on….

 

Follow-Up on Mission Continues Donor List

There’s an interesting question being asked about Governor Eric Greitens’ consent agreement with the Missouri Ethics Commission.  Why is The Mission Continues donor list valued at $600?

AP reported that $2 million worth of contributions were traceable to donors of his former non-profit.  That would seem to make the list much more valuable.

One theory is that $600 is the value the list would have if it were sold.  Obviously it was considerably more valuable to this campaign since Greitens’ name meant a great deal more to these donors.

Another theory is that the list was obtained illegally.  This conjecture is based on TMC executive director saying that they didn’t give the list out, and don’t generally as a practice.

If the list was pilfered, a lower value would make the crime a misdemeanor instead of a felony

 

Follow-Up on New Missouri Mailers

Yesterday I wrote about the governor’s political non-profit, New Missouri, sending direct mail in support of Sen. Mike Kehoe.  It seems New Missouri mailers have also hit boxes praising Sen. Caleb Rowden for supporting the governor’s agenda.

 

April State Revenues

State revenues in April were weak.  Compared to April 2016, sales tax collection declined 1.5%.  And individual income tax receipts – the largest segment of state tax collection – dropped over 3%.  Overall tax collections in this important month were down about 1%, while an increase in refunds brought the net tax collection to -3.3% compared to the same month last year.

Fiscal year to date collections are up 3.07% compared to this time last year.

 

Long Won’t Vote for Trumpcare

Politico reports that Congressman Billy Long won’t vote for the repeal of Obamacare if the replacement doesn’t include a provision for folks with pre-existing conditions.  See it here.

Pull Quote:  President Donald Trump dialed up his campaign-trail ally Rep. Billy Long on Monday, after the Missouri Republican announced his decision to vote against the Republican plan to replace Obamacare. The goal was straightforward: Persuade Long to change his mind.

It didn't work. Though Long hails from a deeply conservative district that overwhelmingly backed Trump over Hillary Clinton in November, and Long supported earlier versions of the legislation, the president's entreaties fell short, GOP insiders said… “I have always stated that one of the few good things about Obamacare is that people with pre-existing conditions would be covered," Long said in a statement.

 

eMailbag on Schaaf

Schaaf goes to work for a government contractor after he voted for their funding in the budget last year. Today he held up the entire Senate because he wants to talk about ethics….

 

Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rep. Cody Smith Morning Reception – Coffee Zone – JC – 7AM.

Breakfast with Sen. Bill Eigel – Downtown Diner – JC – 7:30AM.

Majority Caucus End of Session Party – Capital Ritz – 5:30PM.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Lynne Schlosser added W.E. Shoehigh LLC on behalf of Homeaway; and deleted Beleaf.

Joshua Aciz added WOLF-PAC.

Ryan Johnson added Exemplar Public Affairs LLC; and deleted Missouri Alliance for Freedom.

Jacqueline Bardgett and Chris Roepe added Association of Dental Service Organizations.

Salvatore Panettiere added Reach Healthcare Foundation.

Phillip Scaglia added Group Real Estate Development LLC.

Lou Hamilton deleted St. Louis Police Officers Association.

Donald Cupps deleted University of Missouri Board of Curators.

 

$5K+ Contributions

AspireSTL - $124,788 from SC STL, LLC.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Scott Dieckhaus, Jac Cardetti, and David Smith.

 

Congratulations

Rodney and Emily Boyd on the birth of their second son, Alexander Stephen Boyd.