Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Four Days Left in Session

House and Senate both chugged through items yesterday.  It’s all conference committees and floor action now…


And Twelve Weeks until the Primary

Twelve weeks from today is August 2, Primary Day.

With Election Day in sight, it’s adding some clarity to the gubernatorial race.  I had expected (incorrectly I now know) that Eric Greitens would spend some money early on television, introduce himself to the voters, with the hope of inoculating himself from anticipated attacks that he is not a true Republican.  I had thought John Brunner might attack Greitens early – after his opposition to SJR 39 – to disqualify him with conservative voters.  Both have $3 million – plenty of money I reasoned to spend some early.

However that hasn’t come to pass, and it appears we see a traditional gubernatorial strategy.  The consultants will presumably at this point figure how much TV they can buy, back that out from August 2, and we’ll just have a longer air campaign.  It will begin – according to this playbook – with biographical introduction ads, followed by attacks on those who are expected to be the chief rivals, ending with some version of a high road, likeable closer.

The major unknowns in this scenario is who will attack who – in what order.



The Post-Dispatch on pro-CAFEO

See it here.

Pull Quote: As the Missouri Legislature wraps up its 2016 session, language is being folded into several bills that critics say would make it easier for out-of-state companies to establish “shell corporations” and build such hog farms.

At issue is whether the companies have what’s called “continuing authority” — what opponents of concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, say is necessary to ensure that a company has enough assets in Missouri and won’t up and leave if there is some catastrophe… State records show the parent company of Trenton is Minnesota-based Pipestone Holdings. With the permit denied, the case is now in court.

Under one change proposed in the Legislature, a corporation, partnership, limited liability company or other business organization would need only to be in good standing with the state to meet “continuing authority” requirements…

But a main backer of the “continuing authority” tweak, state Rep. Joe Don McGaugh, R-Carrollton, said the Grundy County decision upended about 25 years’ worth of precedent….


Politico on MO HIE

Politico reports on health information exchanges.  See it hereMissouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday vetoed a $500,000 item in the state’s budget that would fund connections between long-term care and behavioral health centers and statewide health information exchanges. But the budget would exempt those providers from paying for such services, which others in Missouri must do. Nixon called the exemption unfair. Read the language for yourself in Section 11.420 of the state’s health budget: http://on.mo.gov/23xtnaI

— More from the Show Me State: Bills in the Missouri state House and Senate that would create a health information commission empowered to dictate health information standards haven’t moved since we told you about them in late March. The controversy was the new commission would either mandate good behavior or interfere with federal standards settings, depending on which side of the argument you were on.


The Return of Schoemehl?

Former mayor Vince Schoemehl contemplating a comeback to Room 200?  Post-Dispatch says he’s considering it, with an agenda of big picture items like race relations and regional governance.  See it here.


One rumor which made the rounds after Francis Slay announced his decision not to run was that Jason Hall was considering a bid.  Hall was an intriguing suggestion.  He’s Vice President Entrepreneurship and General Counsel at the St. Louis Regional Chamber, would both know the business community and could run as an outsider against the usual political names.  But I haven’t heard his name lately.  We’ll see….


Pot Bits

Washington Post reports that once legalized marijuana prices come down.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Although some observers will be surprised by these sharp price declines – perhaps particularly some investors in the emerging legal marijuana industry – seasoned drug policy analysts have long predicted this effect… Falling pot prices create winners and losers. Because state taxes are based on a percentage of the sales price, declining prices mean each sale puts less money in the public purse. On the other hand, bargain-basement prices undercut the black market, bringing the public reduced law enforcement costs, both in terms of tax dollars spent on jail and the damage done to individuals who are arrested.


And this is down the road a bit, but seems like it’s coming… Washington Post on the question “how high is too high to drive?”  See it here.  Pull Quote: A report by researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said there is no threshold that indicates when a marijuana smoker may be too impaired to drive.


Meanwhile legalization advocate Eapen Thampy is already looking around the corner.  He’s endorsed Jackson County Sheriff Michael Sharp, and is building relationship with sheriffs in other counties across the state.  When some form of legalization does come, law enforcement will be at the table writing the regulations that implement and govern it.  You want to have folks who understand and are not hostile to the movement.


Bits According to LinkedIn, former Rod Jetton chief of staff Chris Benjamin is now a partner at KC Road Lawyers LLC.


Governor Jay Nixon officially put the ten-year extension of the conservation sales tax on the November ballot.  That gives it the better chance for renewal.


The interest groups trying to close the tobacco loophole was still running television ads.  I saw one on CNN last night targeting Sen. Rob Schaaf.  Schaaf, who is term limited and doesn’t appear to have any future ambitions, has declared on Twitter that the bill is dead.  It’s doubtful TV ads will change his mind…


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Sen. Mike Parson Breakfast – Jefferson City County Club – 7:30AM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Jorgen Schlemeier, Bill Gamble, Sarah Topp, Jeffrey Brooks and Cynthia Gamble deleted Midwest Special Needs Trust.


$5K+ Contributions

Bolander for Judge - $6,000 from David Bolander.

Greitens for Missouri - $5,001 from John R Miller.

Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from James B Boswell.

United Food & Commercial Workers Local #655 Elect Political Action Fund - $6,572 from UFCW Local 655.

Returning Government to the People - $10,000 from Fred Sauer.



Happy birthday to Rep. Ron Hicks.