Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Missouri American Water Case to Supreme Court

The Missouri Supreme Court agreed to hear the Missouri American Water case that caused a stir when the appeals court ruled in favor of the Office of Public Counsel in March.  See that ruling here.

The ruling has broad implications.  The argument at the heart of the case is whether St. Louis County’s population decline invalidates laws that were written for the county when it had a high population.

St. Louis County’s population is now below one million, but many laws were written for it by defining it as a county with over a million in population.

MOScout reader: It's really important case and doesn't just impact ISRS. If OPC's interpretation is upheld (interestingly, the Public Service Commission is on Missouri American Water's side here), it means that ambulance and fire districts are at great risk in St. Louis County among other things. It also impacts a public safety tax in Springfield. This is an important case and it’s good that the Supreme Court has decided to hear it.

 

Budget Follow-Up

The most recent numbers I have (and we’ll see soon where the month ends up) show that increase of refunds highlighted by Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick continues.  His finger-pointing tweet mentioned refunds this month up 87% over June 2015.  As of the close of business Monday that number was to a 93% increase, driving the fiscal year-to-date number to a meager 1.3%.

We’ll see…

 

Pine Lawn Gets Poor Rating from Auditor

Auditor Nicole Galloway issued a report on the municipality of Pine Lawn giving it a “poor” rating.  See the audit report here.

See the Post-Dispatch coverage here.

And

When / if the legislature takes any action to push the troubled municipalities of St. Louis County to improve their operations, look for Rep. Dean Plocher to add his insights from his time serving as a municipal judge in Pine Lawn.

 

TAMKO Boycott

Protect MO Families, a coalition fighting right to work legislation, issued a call to boycott David Humphreys’ business TAMKO.

The press release: TAMKO's CEO David Humphreys has donated millions of dollars to elect anti-worker politicians in Missouri in order to advance an extremist policy agenda. The Humphreys Family has already moved more than six million dollars into their front group (Committee for Accountable Government) and anti-worker candidates’ campaign coffers…. As part of the campaign, Protect MO Families is running online ads to encourage others to add their names to the boycott at www.BoycottTAMKO.com

 

Dueks: Hawley is a Dipsh*t

Riverfront Times looks at the conflicts of interests the KMOX pundits have, focusing on Jane Duekers.  She was critical of Josh Hawley on the radio and has filed a sunshine lawsuit him.  See it here.

Pull Quote: "I'm not representing Kurt Schaefer," she says. "I'm don't support either one of them. ... But I think Josh Hawley is an idiot to have his name on a Supreme Court brief and not know about it. I just think he's a dipshit for that."

 

Nixon Signs and Vetoes

Governor Jay Nixon took action on several bills yesterday.  See the list here.

Most significantly he stood up against those pushing their version of legal reform.  The “expert witness” bill (SB 591) was vetoed. It does not have a veto-proof majority in either chamber (only 85 votes in the House).  And Nixon vetoed the bill to limit damages, SB 847.  It did have a veto-proof majority in the Senate, but not in the House – with only 95 votes.

 

2016 Watch: Miller Makes Moves in House 117

In House 117, Mike Miller is making the race interesting.  This is Rep. Linda Black’s seat; she’s running for county commissioner.  Miller received the MRL endorsement while his primary opponent, Mike Henderson, was passed over.  That’s a big deal.

Henderson is an educator with a bit more of the typical resume we see from quasi-rural Republicans, but Miller might pull it off.  Miller spent time in the military and now owns and operates convenience stores.  See his website here.

 

eMailbag: Pro-Life Stuff

Reader 1: I, and numerous colleagues, found that MRL is the biggest bully at the Capitol expecting "their" legislators to march to their every order.  Even though I am very pro-life with a pro-life voting record no one would question, I always had a mind of my own and did not appreciate being dictated to by a group that practiced their way or the highway… Therefore, I would take the MO Right to Life endorsements, or more importantly their non-endorsements, with a grain of salt.

 

Reader 2: Hypocrisy of the Day: Brunner folks attacking Greitens over pro-life survey while simultaneously supporting Donald Trump who (is?/was?/will be again?) to the left of Hillary Clinton, once supporting late term abortion.

 

New Committees

Pharmacist Political Action Committee of Missouri was formed.  Its treasurer is Ron Fitzwater, CEO of Missouri Pharmacy Association.

 

Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Sen. Scott Sifton Reception – Cyrano’s Café – Webster Groves – 5:30PM.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Thomas Voss added University of Missouri Board of Curators.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $28,500 from Democratic Governors Association – Missouri.

Eastern Missouri Senate PAC - $10,000 from Committee to Elect Ron Richard.

Silvey for Missouri - $50,000 from CHIPP Political Account.

Protect our Neighborhoods Committee - $10,000 from Brad Nicholson.

Protect our Neighborhoods Committee - $10,000 from Kansas City Life Insurance Company.

Working Families Committee - $10,000 from IUPAT Political Action Together.

Grow Missouri - $236,328 from Great St. Louis.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to former Sen. Timothy Green, and House 99 candidate Philip Oehlerking.