Wednesday, March 29, 2017

NRA Ad Aims at McCaskill

Senator Claire McCaskill is a Democratic senator in a red state up. And she’s up for re-election in 2018.  That why we’re seeing a lot of third-party ads already starting up in Missouri.  The latest is the NRA is running ads, pressuring her to vote Yes on the Gorsuch confirmation.  See it hereClaire McCaskill talks a good game on gun rights….


House Budget Execs Bills – PubDefs Grab $$$

The House Budget committee passed the budget bills out last night.  Because of the late delivery of the budget from the governor’s office this year, there’s a little bit more hustle to meet the constitutional deadline.

The Budget Committee met for hours and hours – working through dinner – with only a few ten-minute bathroom breaks.

Folks were impressed by Chair Scott Fitzpatrick’s handling of the process.  One MOScouter: Fitzpatrick takes so much time to make sure everyone understands what is going on. He is really remarkable in his fairness and transparency…

The biggest drama came around 9PM on an amendment by Rep. Deb Lavender.  Springfield News-Leader’s Will Schmitt gave the play-by-play over Twitter.

They're debating whether to wait 10 minutes for a rep of @HawleyMO's office to show up or strip 6.8 million for public defender's office.

Loose atmosphere. People are laughing. And it's fun. But average public defender in Mo. has more than 100 simultaneous cases.

125-225 cases, according to testimony. Money was found by @DebLavender in  various funds in the AG's office.

The Public Defender is here and explaining how the transfer can help. Waiting to see whether anyone from the AG's office shows.

Amendment passes. #moleg Public Defender takes over $6,850,000 from Attorney General's Office. Wow.

You snooze, you lose $6.8 million. #moleg

Retweeted Crystal Thomas‏ @crystalclear224: AG's office rep shows up in a Mizzou sweatshirt, gets an M I Z. Is informed amendment passed #Moleg


One lobbyist rolled his eyes at the AG’s office being AWOL.  “All amendments were distributed [beforehand]. There should be no surprises. F***ing outsiders.”



Dentons offers a prospective budget timeline hereThe budget must be completed by May 5, as such the expected timeline for the budget is as follows:

Week of March 27 – House Budget Committee makes changes and votes on each budget bill

Week of April 3- Budget is debated by the full House and sent to the Senate

Week of April 10- Senate Appropriations committee has hearings on the House budget

Week of April 17- Senate Appropriations committee makes final changes and votes on its version of the budget bills

Week of April 24- Full Senate debates Senate Committee version of each budget bill

Week of May 1- House and Senate appoint conferees and reconcile differences and vote to send final budget to Governor Eric Greitens


House Perfects Prevailing Wage

Rep. Warren Love’s HB104 to repeal prevailing wage was perfected by the House with 93 votes.  This sets the bill up for final passage later this week.  That means it will likely be sent to the Senate with six weeks remaining in session.  Still the assumption is that it will take a PQ to make it through the upper chamber.

The End of the Republican Agenda?

If prevailing wage were to pass this session, along with right to work, and the whole host of tort reform bills which have been moving through the legislature, it would be a historic session.  It would also deplete the governing party of their wish list.

With a tight budget, there’s not the usual clamor for tax cuts.  So if you accomplish all the tort and labor reform of your dreams, what’s next?

There are some tough issues out there still like utility regulatory reform, or transportation funding.  But it’s also likely that the GOP legislative agenda could drift into “fringe” territory over the next couple of years….


Moon Vs Shiria Law

The press release:  Rep. Mike Moon is again advocating for the passage of legislation that would ensure foreign laws are not applied in cases in Missouri courtrooms. Moon has filed legislation (HB 299) that would create the Civil Liberties Defense Act to ensure constitutional protections for all parties in cases where foreign law may be considered… Moon said the bill is a response to a growing trend across the country that has seen judges apply foreign law in cases. He cited a study that found sharia law had been invoked in recent years in 146 different cases across 32 states and the federal courts.


Senate Debates Utilities Bill

The Senate spent a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the afternoon debating SB190 – Sen. Ed Emery’s utility regulatory reform bill.  Supporters have been circulating a study which says that for every $1.00 invested in grid modernization, customers would receive a benefit/savings of $2.40.  And some senators who have been opposed in the past – like Sen. Wayne Wallingford – are onboard now.

However yesterday there were still three senators – Sens. Doug Libla, Gary Romine, and Rob Schaaf – who are hardened in their opposition.

Word is the bill will be back up this morning…


PDMP Vote Coming?

Yesterday Rep. Holly Rehder’s prescription drug monitoring program bill was laid over, but it’s possible that some action will be coming.  Momentum is on Rehder’s side with the governor signaling that he’s a believer in the legislation, and some previously opposed Reps now supportive.


Labor Hires Up

Organized labor is moving forward with their referendum to reverse the newly signed right to work law.  Word is that they’ve hired Fieldworks to do signatures for the referendum.  Fieldworks is considered one of the best signature collection firms out there.


Roofers Alliance For Registration

The press release: Today the leader of the Roofing and Siding Contractor Alliance, Inc. (RSCA) urged Missouri legislators returning to work after Spring Break to balance consumer and business interests by passing Registration for Roofers.

“Too often good policy gets lost in the heated rhetoric or posturing by whatever political party is in charge, and Missouri has a unique opportunity to show the nation how regulatory policy should be done by moving Senator Mike Cunningham’s or Representative Robert Cornejo’s bills which are a unique and innovative approach to regulatory policy,” said Gene Frederic,RSCA President.

Cunningham’s and Cornejo’s bills are similar in scope and unique to Missouri because they don’t require a board and instead have a simple registration process.  The Senate version makes the entire process voluntary and the House version keeps it mandatory to ensure out-of-state- roofers register when they do business in Missouri.  The RSCA is championing the bills because it protects the reputation of respectable roofers, doesn’t cost taxpayer money…


Wayne County Tittering?

Auditor Nicole Galloway released a follow-up audit on Wayne County.  See it here.  It’s not pretty… The projected ending cash balance, as reported in the budget document, for the year ended December 31, 2016, was $1,076… The General Revenue Fund owed the Special Road and Bridge Fund $471,846…  the General Revenue Fund continued to experience significant cash flow problems and borrowed monies on a bank line of credit to fund county operations… The expiration of the sales tax will result in less revenues and the county will likely need to reduce disbursements…

See the original audit here:

Wayne County is represented by Reps. Steve Cookson and Paul Fitzwater, and Sen. Wayne Wallingford.


Follow-Up on Contribution Confusion

Team Greitens amended their donation page to lower the maximum contribution to the Missouri state law maximum of $2,600.  But they still kept the Federal disclaimer verbiage…  See it here.


O’Neill in House 21

Daniel O’Neill started a campaign committee to run for House 21 as a Democrat.

This follows speculation that former Rep. John Mayfield would run for House 21 in 2018 when the current representative, Ira Anders, is termed out.



According to its 8-Day report the Yes on 5, the campaign committee supporting Question 5 on the Kansas City ballot (marijuana reform) next week, has raised $662 so far for the campaign.


Columbia News Tribune reports that “Lt. Dusty L. Hoffman is being promoted to captain and designated director of the Governor’s Security Division at the Missouri State Highway Patrol General Headquarters in Jefferson City.”


Bob Priddy endorses the Jeff City tax increase for a second high-school.  See it here.


Sam Licklider spotted yesterday in the rotunda wearing a regular necktie. The apocalypse is nigh!...


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Missouri Electric Co-ops Fish Fry – 3rd floor Capitol Rotunda – Noon to 1:30 p.m.


Lobbyists Registrations

Matthew Bradley added Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Marti Cortez added Union Electric Co., Dba Amerenmo, Ameren Services, Ameren Corp.

Theresa Elliott added Sentry Insurance.

Will Fischer added VoteVets Action Fund.

Matthew Hedberg added Mead Johnson Nutrition Company; Mead Johnson & Company LLC.

Meghan Travis Henderson added Missouri Hospital Association.

Guy Black deleted MEMC Electronic Materials Inc, Universal Asset Management LLC, and Summit Utilities Inc.


$5K+ Contributions

Local 41 Political Action Fund - $11,364 from DRIVE Committee.

St. Louis Police Officers Assoc PAC - $5,001 from St. Louis Police Officers Association.

STL Votes! - $100,000 from Great St. Louis Inc.

Make Saint Louis Safe - $100,000 from Great St. Louis Inc.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Nathan Beard, former Reps. Ellen Brandom and Neal St. Onge, lobbyist Zach Brunnert, and Greitens’ Will Scharf.