Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal issued a statement yesterday about Rep. Joshua Peters, grabbing her arm, calling her Boo and forcing an embrace. See it here. Peters fired back in a statement calling the senator mentally unstable, saying the accusations are categorically false and threatening to sue.
My simple math had me believing that with an ever-decreasing number of Democratic in Jefferson City, there would be fewer opportunities for them to fight amongst themselves. I am, once again, wrong.
Wes Wagner Resigning?
Word is that Jefferson County Clerk Wes Wagner is set to resign due to a change in his family life.
This is yet one more blow for Democrats in Jefferson County who are already on the mat and being counted out.
Wagner was one of the remaining Democratic elected officials, winning in 2014 with 50.03% of the vote. While the state representative seats have almost entirely shifted from Democratic to Republican during the last decade.
Senate Hearings Of Interest Today
8AM in the Government Reform Committee, Chairman Ed Emery presents his Education Saving Account-ish plan: SB 32.
10AM in Health and Pensions, Chairman Rob Schaaf and Sen. Dave Schatz will each present their drug prescription monitoring program bills. One observer says “for the first time [Schaaf] will have to face victims of opiate addiction in his committee.”
Noon in Commerce Committee, the utilities’ grid modernization bill (SB190) will get have a Senate hearing. Vice-Chair Ed Emery is the bill sponsor. Eyes will probably be on Sen. Gary Romine who has been a resistance leader against utilities regulatory reform in the past.
Noon in Sen. Bob Onder’s General Laws, a few more anti-labor bills continue their way through the legislative pipeline…
Follow Up on Hawley’s Residency Problem
Yesterday I mistakenly said that Attorney General Josh Hawley’s residency problem is a constitutional requirement. It’s not. It’s a statutory requirement. And Hawley says it’s no problem at all.
Sometimes the easiest answer is the simplest. In this case, it would be: “I’ll move.”
Instead we get the legal gymnastics that follows…
To: he Attorney General
From: Michael Martinich-Sauter, Deputy Attorney General (Legal Policy)
Re: § 27.010, RSMo
he application of § 27.010, RSMo to Attorney General Hawley is a novel question because no Attorney General in the modern era has been elected while already living locally, proximate to the capitol. For decades, Attorneys General lived in or hailed from other parts of the state before their elections. As described below, the Attorney General fully complies with the residency requirement of § 27.010, RSMo, by maintaining his current family residence in rural Boone County. This is because the Attorney General’s family residence is within ordinary commuting distance from the capitol complex, and thus “at the seat of government.” The purpose of the 1835 statute that imposed the residency requirement was to ensure the Attorney General was present to conduct business at the capitol. Attorney General Hawley plainly satisfies that requirement.
The Attorney General fully complies with the plain language of the statute by residing at his family home in rural Boone County, which is well within an ordinary commuting distance from the capitol complex. Section 27.010 provides that “[t]he attorney general shall reside at the seat of government.” § 27.010, RSMo (emphasis added). The plain and ordinary meaning of the word “at” “indicate[s] presence in, on, or near” something. Webster’s Third New Int’l Dictionary 136 (emphasis added). Just as do employees who commute to the capitol complex from various parts of Jefferson City or other areas of the county, the Attorney General lives “near” the seat of government, given that his ordinary commuting time from his home in rural Boone County to the Supreme Court Building is approximately 20 minutes.
This conclusion is especially clear in light of the original legislative purposes underlying §27.010. The Attorney General residency requirement was first enacted in 1835. See State ex rel. Thrash v. Lamb, 141 S.W. 665, 668 (Mo. banc 1911). The same statute that first imposed the residency requirement also added the requirement that the Attorney General “advise the state officers and assembly” and act as the local prosecuting attorney for the seat of government. Id. By coupling these new requirements in a single statute, the General Assembly plainly intended to ensure that the Attorney General would be available to provide prompt legal advice and representation to state officials. That likely means that the Attorney General must live near enough to the capitol complex to be summoned from home, when needed, in order to carry out his duties. Attorney General Hawley is able to drive to the capitol complex in 20 minutes or less. This is indeed in line with the average commuting distance of residents of Cole and surrounding counties. The Attorney General’s close proximity to the office by car thus fully satisfies the original purposes underlying § 27.010’s residency requirement.
In fact, it is likely that the term “reside” as used in § 27.010 does not refer to the Attorney General’s personal home at all, but rather to the location from which the Attorney General conducts his official business. In State ex rel. Spradling v. Bondurant, 501 S.W.2d 527 (Mo. App. 1973), the Missouri Court of Appeals explained that § 27.010 prescribes the “official residence” of the Attorney General, just as § 32.040 prescribes the “official residence” of the Director of the Department of Revenue. Id. at 529 (emphasis added). Section 32.040 merely provides that the Department of Revenue shall maintain its headquarters in Jefferson City, and it does not purport to prescribe where the Director maintains his or her personal home. See § 32.040, RSMo. Thus, Spralding demonstrates that § 27.010 relates to the location from which the Attorney General primarily conducts official business, not the location of his personal home.
The Court’s conclusion is entirely consistent with the analysis above: the statute is intended to ensure the Attorney General is present at the seat of government to conduct his official duties. Attorney General Hawley plainly meets that requirement. For these reasons, the Attorney General has fully complied with § 27.010, RSMo.
Governor Eric Greitens set August 8 as the date for the special election in Mike Parson’s Senate seat.
It’s a safe Republican seat.
Rep. Sandy Crawford is the only candidate with a committee established – so far.
The House perfected its ride-sharing regulatory bill. Look for final passage this week. There may be some bumps over in the Senate. But getting it over there while it’s still in January is remarkable and allows for plenty of time to negotiate and navigate a way to the governor’s desk.
Uber lobbyists: John McGurk, Shawn Rigger, Steven Tilley, Rebecca Lohmann, Gregory Porter, Alex Eaton, and Danny Pfeifer.
Lyft lobbyists: Kate Casas, Jack Cardetti, Rodney Boyd, Brian Grace, and Kelvin Simmons.
Krewson’s First Ads
The St. Louis ayoral race is now six weeks away and front-runner Lyda Krewson released a pair of TV ads. See them here.
Both portray Krewson as a fighter. One features Bob Holden and talks about her fighting the tobacco companies. The other is about gun control and draws on her personal tragedy. The tag-line is: There is no sense in having this job if you are not going to try to make a difference and take on the tough issues. Not exactly Morning In St. Louis material, and I guess it reflects the mood of the voters.
The Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA) has promoted Ewell Lawson to the position of Vice President of Government Affairs, Communications, and Member Relations.
An air-cargo facility for St. Louis is apparently on Donald Trump’s list of $137 billion worth of infrastructure projects. See it here.
From by Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:
MDA Legislative Day – Rotunda
Springfield Salute to Legislators – Capitol Plaza Hotel – 4:30PM.
James Atkins added Missouri Tow Truck Association.
Cassie Grewing added Patek & Associates LLC.
Sarah Wood Martin deleted Missourians for a Balanced Future.
Lyda Krewson for Mayor - $10,000 from Robert Brinkmann.
Happy birthdays to former Reps. Gracia Backer, and Mike Corcoran.