Friday, January 27, 2017

 

McCann Beatty Slams Greitens’ Beginner’s “Ignorance”

House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty issued a take-down of the new governor, not on policy, but on competence….  “On Jan. 16, Governor Eric Greitens purported to make $146.43 million in unilateral budget cuts for the 2017 fiscal year, including slashing education spending by $90.3 million. Under Article IV, Section 27 of the Missouri Constitution, the legal mechanism by which the governor implements such cuts is a proclamation to the General Assembly. However, no such proclamation has been issued.

“It has been 10 days since the governor announced these supposed cuts, yet he still hasn't taken the constitutionally mandated action necessary to actually impose them. In other words, as far as the Missouri Constitution is concerned, Governor Greitens has made no budget cuts, and until such time as he gets around to it, our public universities, local school districts and other agencies targeted for cuts are legally entitled to their full appropriations.

"While we understand that our new governor lacks experience in state government, ignorance cannot justify the unconstitutional exercise of authority. This is another example of why high statewide office is no place for beginners."

Days earlier McCann Beatty had hit the same theme: "Missouri has a governor who can't be bothered to submit a budget, a secretary of state who doesn't understand the concept of conflict of interest and an attorney general who believes state law only applies to other people. Until being sworn-in two weeks ago, none of these three men had served a single day in public office, and their inexperience shows. But inexperience is no excuse, and they are quickly proving why high statewide office is no place for beginners."

 

One building denizen: Embarrassing… Why did not either chamber tell the Governor “you know you have to do this by proclamation?”  The problem may be that the Governor and many of the top ranking staff are inexperienced.  So Budget and Planning did their usual preparation for withholds, and gave the work product to the Guv's office. But whoever got it in the Guv's office did not have enough sense to run it by legal. Or worse yet legal did not know better.

 

RTW Passes Senate

Right to work passed the Senate, and will now head to the House which has already passed its own version.

After passing the legislative milestone, the Senate found itself bogged down in the rules as Floor Leader Mike Kehoe attempted to move back in the order of business to take up the pay raise resolution.  Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal objected, Sen. Jason Holsman – and then Sen. Ryan Silvey – raised points of order and we were off to a stalemate.

There were some who suggested the super-majority Republicans should just change the rules when they get tangled up like this.  Thankfully, however, respect for the institution prevailed.   And the Senate will likely be taking up the pay raise resolution (for disapproval) early next week.

 

ALEC Hearts MO

The conservative organization ALEC cheers developments in Missouri. See it here.

Pull Quote: A right-to-work bill making its way through Missouri’s legislature is generating most of the labor-related headlines in the Show-Me state. However, government union reform legislation has been introduced that could make Missouri a model for other states to follow.

State Senator Bob Onder has introduced the Government Union Reform Act, Senate Bill 210, that brings greater accountability to government unions and freedom to public workers, which is desperately needed.

 

McCaskill on Opioid Help

The press release: Missouri counties and cities may now apply for federal funding for local prescription drug monitoring efforts following sustained efforts from U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill… Missouri is currently the only state in the country without a statewide prescription

drug monitoring program, and legislation to create one has failed in the state legislature. Despite the lack of statewide action, cities and counties across the state are working in a coordinated manner to implement programs…. The motion shaped by McCaskill that was successfully included in last year's Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act-federal legislation that provides resources to states to combat the number of prescription drug and heroin deaths across the country-enables Missouri's network of county-level monitoring programs to be eligible to apply for federal resources.  Without this provision, eligibility for this federal grant funding would have been limited to states.

 

Bits

PSC Commissioner Scott Rupp has hired Alex Antel as his new advisor, replacing Rachel Hassani who went to work for Josh Hawley.  Antel is a former PSC staff attorney who then went to work for the Missouri Division of Energy.

 

James Neely formed a limited liability company, North Missouri Land LLC. In its Articles of Organization, it says its purpose is to “create, grow, and maintain wealth through any and all legal means.”

 

The Missouri Association of Veterans Organization (MAVO) has marijuana on their legislative agenda this year, as well as an expansion of the Missouri income tax exemption to include Reserve and National Guard members.

 

In the time of sharp state cuts for higher education: Mizzou athletic revenues hit record, and athletics spending is up nearly 9 percent, to almost $95 million. One reader suggests: Sweep the sacred cow athletics surplus and offset state funding cuts.

 

More from the Ed Martin/Phyllis Schlafly saga, if you just can’t get enough…. See it here.

 

eMailbag: Please Mr. Combest…

Running NASCAR drivers for what was once the most cherished institution in the land?.. As a state, we have taken the term "outsider" and redefined it as "no experience" even more so than the rest of the country.  We officially jumped the shark when NASCAR.com became the source of record for aspiring politicians.  Please, John Combest, don't add NASCAR.com articles to the daily rundown.

 

eMailbag on Tobacco Tax 2018?

If American Cancer Society and the various body part groups are going to want to try to raise the tobacco tax again in the state, they should probably not include different taxes or fees for Little Tobacco. That scrappy crew has led the battle against every cigarette tax of late - and there's a chance they could be sidelined by the right proposal. Taking them out of the mix could be the first step towards a successful campaign.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Lynne Schlosser added Midwest Industrial Hemp Association.

Elizabeth Lauber added JG Circle of Hope; and deleted JG Foundation.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Civic Progress Action Committee - $7,500 from Edward Jones.

Civic Progress Action Committee - $7,500 from Centene Management.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Sen. Jill Schupp, and Mary Scruggs.

Saturday: Melanie Adams, and Van Kelly.

Sunday: Rep. Craig Redmon, former Rep. Tommie Pierson, Brian Schmidt, Rory Riddler, and Allison Bruns.