Tuesday, May 9, 2017

House Passes SB43

The House spent hours and hours yesterday debating SB43 – which would rewrite Missouri’s discrimination laws to make it harder to sue.

Many amendments were offered, but none stuck.  The one that seemed like it had some momentum – Rep. Kevin Engler’s amendment to make it illegal to fire someone for being gay – was withdrawn by Engler because he said that any amendments would kill the bill as it would be sent back to the Senate.

Republican Reps. Jay Barnes and Shamed Dogan made passionate pleas for various amendments, but that argument – every amendment was poison – was compelling enough to defeat them all.

The final vote was 98-30 with a lot of Dems abstaining in protest.  See the News-Leader article about their protest here.  And Rep. Crystal Quade’s letter to the clerk here.

Reaction

Pathway’s Don Hinkle on Facebook:  People of faith in Missouri won a tremendous victory tonight in the cause for religious liberty -- and few people knew it was even happening, due to an extremely low-key strategy leading to its passage in a bill everyone thought was solely about tort reform… While all the floor debate and media coverage focused on the tort reform aspects of the bill, they seemed oblivious to the restoration of the religious exemption to the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) that was also contained in the bill…

 

Rep. Greg Razer in an email blast: Moments ago on the floor of the Missouri House of Representatives I heard my colleague Rick Brattin say, “there is a distinction between homosexuality and just being a human being.” Somehow gay people are less than other people to some folks in the Missouri House of Representatives…

 

SB302 to Reopen New Madrid Smelter?

An amendment added to SB302 would give the Public Service Commission authority to establish an economic development rate for an aluminum smelting facility or a steel works facility. This would create 500 jobs in Southeast Missouri at the New Madrid smelter and attract a state of the art steel works facility to the region. It would also bring up to $100 million of sorely needed new investment to the region. New Madrid officials and business leaders were in the Capitol last week meeting with legislators to discuss details. epresentative Don Rone, who represents New Madrid, described the importance of passing the legislation on the House floor on last week: “This amendment is probably the most important amendment that I’ll probably ever give in this body. This amendment will mean, for my district, over 500 jobs if we can get this passed and across the finish line. I’ll give you some examples…just today, steel mill people met with the Governor, they’re going to bring 200 jobs at an average salary of $55,000, they’re going to invest $100 million at New Madrid, Missouri. The other one is Magnitude 7, they’re going to bring 206 jobs at $95,000, 43 jobs at $125,000, and in 2018 they’re going to bring an additional 150 jobs at $95,000…this brings back to my district over half of what we lost when Noranda went out.”

The Senate has asked for a conference on SB302.

 

Senate Yesterday

The Senate worked through some bills before breaking for the governor’s barbecue shindig.  An interesting thing happened.  All the bills they brought up were from the “approved” list of the Schaaf/rebels.  And then they brought up HB292.  That wasn’t on the list.  Sen. Rob Schaaf and others got up and started inquiring and before long it was laid over.  The spell remains unbroken, and the Senate remains captive in SchaafLand.

And

The Senate didn’t return to its Dark Money debate.  One reason might be that proponents have come to the conclusion that they don’t have the votes to pass it.  Opponents of the Schaaf language thought they would win a vote, but weren’t 100% certain.  They had hoped maybe a few Dems would be persuaded by the argument that liberal non-profit groups would also have to disclose their donors.  But even if none came over, they thinking they had 19 Republican votes against it in the Senate.

 

Rumorville: Onder in 2-CD?

Tipster says that Sen. Bob Onder is on the list of "a number of consultants" as a possible candidate for 2-CD if/when Congresswoman Ann Wagner jumps into the US Senate race.

 

Vescovo Timeline

Why is Rep. Rob Vescovo announcing so early for the floor leader race that won’t take place for 18 months?  Because it might take place sooner than 18 months.  Follow me… There’s a rumor that Sen. Will Kraus is going to get an appointment from President Donald Trump. If that happens, the thought is that Floor Leader Mike Cierpiot would be the front-runner to take that Senate seat in a special election, and then we’d have a floor leader’s race.

Tipster: Look for Reps. Kirk Mathews and Rocky Miller to jump into the race soon as well….

 

The Next Greene County Senators

With Sens. Jay Wasson and Bob Dixon termed in 2018, the candidates are starting to position themselves for the race.

In Senate 30 (Dixon seat), Rep. Kevin Austin says he’s running.  See his bio here. Businessman Caleb Arthur is said to be mulling a run in that seat as well.  Arthur is CEO of Missouri Sun Solar.  One source says he could ante up $250,000 or so into a state senate bid.  However the general consensus is that his resume – solar magnate – is not necessary popular with the GOP primary crowd.

Austin is the favorite for this seat.

In Senate 20 (Wasson seat), two former state representatives may be facing off.  Former Rep. Eric Burlison is definitely in.  He’s amassed a good start to a war-chest and has a very conservative record from his time in the House.  Former Rep. Lincoln Hough is said to be also considering running.  Hough is current commissioner. So there’s a chance he’ll stay put with a higher salary that the senate would give him and no time away from home.  Plus it’ll be hard to get to the right of Burlison in this primary.

Burlison is the favorite in this race.

 

Bits

Sen. Andrew Koenig’s SB313 (educational saving accounts) was voted out of the House Rules Committee yesterday.  One step closer, but only four days left….

 

The Missouri Democratic Party announced “that Elizabeth Zerr is joining their team as Political Director. Zerr will work with grassroots organizations, elected officials, and other key stakeholders throughout the state to lead Democratic candidate recruitment and coordinate training efforts for the Party… Previously, Zerr was the legislative director for Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander…”

 

St. Louis City issued a request for proposals for a Chuck Berry museum and cultural district.  See it here“There are fewer more well‐known and influential guitarists than the legendary pioneer of American rock and roll – Chuck Berry. His words, music, and lifestyle have shaped the genre as we know it today. And his name is about as ‘St. Louis’ as toasted ravioli, ooey gooey butter cake, or provel cheese. This brief history is provided as an overview of the life of Chuck Berry and the significance of 3137 Whittier Street to the history of rock and roll…”

 

From “a seasoned member of the House” --  “Staff, interns and members of the senate are attending the governor's BBQ - basically all non-essential personnel...”

 

With Governor Eric Greitens’ six week freeze on new regulations passed, the regulatory machinery continues on.  See latest Register here.

 

It looks like Brad Bradshaw is out and collecting signatures for his medical marijuana initiative petition.  It appears that he has hired National Ballot Access, but we’ll see for sure with the next campaign reports.  I believe he’s collecting for this IP, has a 15% tax and generates $66 million a year in revenue to go toward cancer research.

 

eMailbag: Already Expressing Session Disappointment

Lots of people worked lots of years and some donated significant amounts of money (and it takes both) for Rs to be in the position we are. It disgusts and disappoints me that their personal agendas and pettiness are more important than both big and small issues. Big issues are in the platform they claim to fundamentally support and little things help manage government for the citizens. Some will start touting that we had a great session, accomplished some big things – but it could have been so much more…

 

eMailbag on Special Session

Regarding the Special Session having no down side, have the Governor talk with Bob Holden about special sessions where nothing gets done….

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Mark Bryant and Michael White added Rhythm Engineering.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Local 41 Political Action Fund - $12,739 from DRIVE Committee.

Find The Cures - $10,000 from Bradley Bradshaw.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to John Ashcroft (75), Gregg Keller (the big 4-0), Scott Penman, and Don Hicks.