Friday, March 24, 2017

House-Senate Relations Will Drive 2nd Half

As we look toward next week, and the second half of the legislative session, both Republican and Democratic, Senate and House legislators say that the relations between their two chambers will be the biggest factor determining how much gets passed.

Here’s the situation…

The Senate spend most of the first half methodically passing tort reform and labor reform bills – nearly on the pace of one each week.

Those bills now will work their way through the House committee process, but they were passed with the warning that moving these items through the Senate is never easy.  In other words, the House should be prepared to pass the as they are.  If they make changes and send them back to the Senate, the likelihood of final passage declines dramatically.

The House is obviously not thrilled with this dynamic.  But the friction is furthered by what one legislator describes as the Senate attitude toward the House.  “[We] sent multiple priorities over to the Senate to see them buried (lobbyist gift ban), laid over (Uber), or ignored (charter schools).”

It’s said that House Speaker Todd Richardson would like to see some results before he passes all of the priorities of his counterpart – Senate Pro Tem Ron Richard.

Complicating the Senate’s ability to pass these items are two factors: Governor Eric Greitens’ continuing unpopularity in the Senate, and the fact that once legislation is seen as a priority it becomes more valuable for legislators to use as leverage for their own purposes.

For example, when the ride-sharing legislation came up, Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal spoke at length about the environmental problems in her district, and Sen. Rob Schaaf spoke about his loathing of managed care.  Both were apparently seeking to use the legislation to advance their legislative agenda.

Additionally, Greitens’ ill-fated insertion into the pay raise issue earlier in session is still dogging him in the chamber.  His refusal to come clean on his donors has led to speculation that there may be hedge-funders who have contributed to his campaign/inaugural/plane-rides/non-profit who are also investors in ride-sharing companies.  This has created a class of enemies for the lobbyist gift ban and Uber bills.

And finally there is the fear of a Senate blow-up.  It could come in the form of an early PQ on prevailing wage or some other form, like a mutiny that paralyzes the body.  Everyone is aware that a “traumatic” event in the Senate can suddenly and severely shut down the legislative flow.


A Show-Me Instituter wishes that the Senate had passed more in the first half and can’t understand why it’s not run like the House.  See it here.


Budget Markups

The House has put their budget bill markups online.  Find them here.


Preserve Middle Class  America

In the large contributions, $120,000 is headed into the Preserve Middle Class America PAC.  See their paperwork here.  The treasurer is David Cook, president of the UFCW655.

They are working to fight any anti-organized labor legislation.  See their website here.

And – according to the Labor Tribune – were planning a $1 million media campaign.


No Desire for Talent

Politico has an article about Mad Dog Mattis and his picks for staff which includes this bit about former Senator Jim TalentSee it here.

Pull Quote: Mattis has bristled at nominating people with political backgrounds, including Randy Forbes, a former Virginia congressman who was considered for secretary of the Navy, and former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent, a Republican with expertise in defense policy, whose name has been floated for several senior defense posts. Senior members of the Republican foreign policy establishment had been pushing for the nominations of both men, neither of whom was openly critical of Trump during the campaign. Mattis has instead opted for deputies with backgrounds in law, diplomacy and business.


Folks Still Leaving The Big Cities

Governing Magazine says that the early census data is not looking good for urban places.  See it here.

Pull Quote: For much of the past half century, St. Louis incurred a gradual decline as residents left the city. Like other urban areas, its population eventually stabilized with the revitalization of its central corridor and more young people moving in and around downtown. But now, the latest Census estimates suggest the slight growth may have been short-lived.  Many urban counties that had halted population declines or experienced promising gains are similarly losing residents again, according to Census estimates released Thursday…

Couples leaving the city of St. Louis often head west or across the river in search of larger homes or better school districts… Taking their place are not other families but often one or two single individuals who can afford to rent an entire home… The steady stream of residents leaving has led to thousands of vacant homes and lots, particularly on the north side. The city's Land Reutilization Authority currently holds approximately 12,000 vacant properties, far more than comparable cities. Meanwhile, Sandoval says, nearly all the new housing development is oriented more toward solo renters, rather than families….


$5K+ Contributions

AspireSTL - $500,000 from SC STL LLC.

Citizens for Steve Stenger – $10,000 from Groundwork Mortgage LLC.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Groundwork Insurance LLC.

Preserve Middle Class America - $120,000 from Preserve Middle Class America Inc.



Happy birthdays to Matt Bain, Kelly Schultz, Chris Liese, Tony Wyche, and Mike Gibbons.

Saturday: Sens. Doug Libla and Jason Holsman, and Reps. Robert Cornejo and Mark Matthiesen.

Sunday: Ed Smith.


MOScout News

With the legislature on break, no Weekly Summary or Who Won the Week today.