Over the weekend the Post-Dispatch published a story about the heroin epidemic, a public health crisis which the legislature has grappled with, struggling to find an adequate public policy response. See it here. The photos are particularly haunting.
Pull Quote: After a long decline, Eric Bearden finally hit bottom in an abandoned building on South Grand Boulevard that thousands of people pass every day. Bearden, 28, who once dreamed of being a chef, was victim No. 11 among a class of 256 fatal overdoses that quietly tore across the city of St. Louis in 2016… Earlier this month, Ashley Johnston plunged a different syringe into her arm, her beating heart then pumping the dope through her pregnant body…
Anti-Semitic Vandalism Hits U-City Cemetery
Post-Dispatch reports “someone pushed over dozens of headstones at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, Lt. Fredrick Lemons said Monday. Asked whether the incident is being investigated as a hate crime, he said police are keeping all options open. Lemons said police are looking at surveillance cameras for clues…” See it here.
Greitens Statement: It is reported that more than 100 headstones were damaged. We do not yet know who is responsible, but we do know this: this vandalism was a cowardly act. And we also know that, together, we can meet cowardice with courage. Anyone who would seek to divide us through an act of desecration will find instead that they unite us in shared determination. From their pitiful act of ugliness, we can emerge even more powerful in our faith.
The Trump angle... See it here.
Koster to Centene
Former attorney general Chris Koster has joined Centene as a senior vice president. See it here.
Pull Quote: Koster will report to Clayton-based Centene's chairman, president and CEO Michael Neidorff, the company said in a statement, and Koster "will assist in business-related issues, outside of government relations, for Centene's locally-based health plans across the country."
Sen. Andrew Koenig’s SB313 will get a hearing in the Senate Education Committee today. It’s narrower than Sen. Ed Emery’s ESA bill and closer to what Governor Eric Greitens mentioned in his State of the State speech. SB 313 would only benefit students who have a disability, are children of active military or are wards of the state.
Hawley on SB5?
Sen. Ron Richard’s SB5 sits on the Senate’s informal calendar after much debate. One building denizen wonders where Attorney General Josh Hawley is on the bill. Although one would assume the new AG would support the measure as a good Republican effort to make life easier for businesses, it also would curtail the consumer protections which traditionally have been the bailiwick of the AG’s office.
Yokley to Jeff City?
Eli Yokley who once ran the website PoliticMO hinted on Twitter than he might make a visit back to Jefferson City to do a story on Governor Eric Greitens. Yokley is now with Morning Consult. One observer thought Greitens’ team – which has been shielding the governor from answering any unfiltered questions – might take an interest in Yokley since he’s national media now…
Meanwhile one MOScouter scratches his head… “I am wondering if the way Greitens has handled the press is part of a planned strategy or it is a combination of not even knowing how to deal with them (incompetence) and fear…”
Long to Japan
Congressman Billy Long talks trade deal with the Japanese prime minister. See it here.
Jeanne Sinquefield: Things Not Simple
Interesting quote from a Missouri Columbia Missourian article last week about the UM System Review Commission report… Commission chairwoman Jeanne Sinquefield, a longtime MU donor, said that by the time the review was completed, she believed the university wasn’t doing as poorly as state legislators initially implied. “You know how you come in and you have certain ideas about how things are, and then you realize how things are a lot more complex?” Sinquefield said. See it here.
HB922 Makes No Sense
A bill to designate Sleep Day? And folks are encouraged to drive on Sleep Day? Huh? March seventeenth of each year shall be known as “Sleep Day” in Missouri. The citizens are encouraged to participate in activities that focus on important issues related to sleep, including medicine, education, social aspects, and driving.
eMailbag on Hawley’s New Digs
Beginning of the real discussion about Josh Hawley. Will he be registering to vote at his new residence? If he is a resident of Jeff City as required, that is where he should be voting…
From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:
Rep. Kevin Corlew Coffee – Downtown Dinner – 7:15AM.
Whitney O’Daniel and Rachel Treppler added ABB Inc.
David Jackson added Missouri Association of County Developmental Disabilities Services, and Missouri Automobile Dealers Association.
Aaron Baker and Kristian Starner added Clout Public Affairs LLC.
Lyda Krewson for Mayor - $9,000 from J&B Partners LLC.
Lyda Krewson for Mayor - $10,000 from William Danforth.
Progress KC PAC - $10,000 from H&R Block.
Happy birthdays to Rep. Donna Baringer, AT&T’s Craig Unruh, Jo Mannies, and former Reps. Harry Kennedy and B.J. Marsh.