Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Moon on Transgenderism

In a letter to Dr. Margie Vandeven, Commissioner of Education, Rep. Mike Moon explains why the state shouldn’t follow the Department of Justice interpretation of Title IX that “a school must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity.”

From Moon’s letter: However, in the professional opinion of Dr. Paul R. McHugh, Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry and former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital, transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment, sex change is “biologically impossible,” and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder.

The letter published by the U.S. Education Department and DOJ requires the promotion and protection of a behavior inconsistent with natural law and, as such, should not be followed.

If we, as a society, are intent upon instructing and training our children on the difference between right and wrong, we must stand against decrees from the federal government or any other entity forcing us to do otherwise.

I urge you to reject the edict without regard to the potential financial costs.


House Grades

Todd Richardson – A- - Richardson is getting graded on a curve – the Diehl curve.  It won’t happen next session.  His grade would be lower, because he got legislatively manhandled by the Senate.  The House had neither the tools, nor the will, to exercise leverage over the upper chamber. And as a result lobbyists’ gifts were killed, Uber legislation was killed, and the house was left doing the Senate’s dirty work on SJR 39.

But Richardson did lots of things right.  He had priorities and he managed as well as he could to stick to them.  He started to implement a new culture in the House.  Unlike Diehl he wasn’t in the Jeff City bars at closing time, and when the Don Gosen scandal threatened to explode, he reacted with the correct firm hand and showed Gosen the door.

As one MOScout reader wrote:  “More important than any legislative achievement, people in the building know he's serious about putting a stop to the shenanigans…”


Mike Cierpiot – A- – Same grade as Richardson.  Cierpiot managed the floor well and ensured nearly every House priority was accomplished while keeping a large and diverse caucus happy.  But one criticism is that the relentless process of passing bills needs more nuance. Perhaps next year, he – and Richardson – will manage the flow better to be holding more cards on the final week of session.


Lauren Arthur – B – Freshman Dem acts fearless on the floor.  As Dems look to their future, that’s one arrow in her quiver.  The next step is building relationships across the aisle and finding middle ground with the majority.


John Carpenter – B+ – Fading from his position as the minority party's future leader apparently by choice. With the loss of Hummel, LaFavre, he is now easily the brightest mind and sharpest tongue on the Democrat side and will be a force if/when he moves to the Senate.


Robert Cornejo – B+ – Cornejo marched big bill after big bill (healthcare omnibus bill, beer coolers & growlers, juveniles convicted of 1st degree murder, the SB 5 follow-up) through the House. He looks to be the go-to guy for the foreseeable future.


Scott Fitzpatrick – A – Survived the birth (and hospitalization) of twins to return to the Capitol, carryanother large pi ece of legislation through the process, and deliver in the clutch when the Budget chair was ill. His position as 4 year budget chair looks secure and his path to the Senate seems the same.


Elijah Haahr – A – Maybe put in the toughest spot of anyone in the house caucus chairing the committee hearing SJR 39, he received praise from supporters and opponents alike for his handling of the issue. He carried weighty bills (human trafficking, Uber language) and appears well-positioned to move up the leadership track.


Jim Hansen – B+ – Went from a lawmaker known only by a handful of insiders to one of the most well-known across the state based on his heart breaking speech on SJR 39. Contained none of the flowing rhetoric of Todd Richardson or the brute force of Kevin Engler, yet it absolutely summed up the angst of those torn on the SJR 39 debate to the point it left not a dry eye in the room or for those who have watched it numerous times online.


Jake Hummel – B – The weak Dem minority did their best to counter-punch and find divisions within the Republican ranks they could exploit.  But with so few members it’s all tactics and no strategy.  House Dems are still looking for their Jetton/Hanaway combo to lead them out of the wilderness.


Jeremy LaFavre – A –  Four years ago, LaFavre came in with fire and brimstone.  After he lost a leadership race in his caucus, he seemed to lose temporarily heart.  But he reimagined himself as a guy who could work across the aisle, negotiate when he needed to, built very strong alliances, and leaves the building as one of the most valuable and popular legislators in the past few years.


Joe Don McGaugh – A- – McGaugh is underestimated with the lobbying core which allows him to get things accomplished under the radar. He chairs a pretty tough committee.  Civil and Criminal Proceedings has three freshman non-lawyers, three plaintiff-friendly Democrats and one Nick Marshall.  Still he got every pro-business legal reform measure up and out of his committee.


Holly Redher – B – Her priority bills always seem to be in the center ring.  But neither made it across the finish line with paycheck protection falling short of a Senate override and Sen. Rob Schaaf obstructing PDMP again.


Shelia Solon – B+ – Her two bills (HB1678 delaing with sexual assault reports on campus, and HB 1679 to make contraceptives easier to get) to help the GOP with their “war on women” problem both stalled before they could get to the governor’s desk.  But that the usual fate for first-time legislation.  She’ll be back next year.


Drafting Women

Politico reports on the movement to include women in registering with the Selective Service.  See it here.

Pull Quote: He also noted that women senators on his panel supported a gender-neutral draft, including Republicans Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Joni Ernst of Iowa and Democrat Claire McCaskill of Missouri. For her part, McCaskill said Tuesday she was disappointed in the House move to scuttle a vote on the issue.

“I don’t get the magic of the majority in the House of Representatives and how they do things in the dark of night and somehow it’s the people’s work,” she said. “To me, they need to put it on the floor and vote on it if they want to strip it out. Let’s put everybody on the record.”


Kansas Tax Loophole

KC Star’s Yael Abouhalkah explains how the changes in Kansas’ tax code have created perverse outcomes where folks can create an LLC and shield their income.  This leads to higher numbers of “business creations,” but the no new economic activity and lower tax receipts.  See it here.


Merger Hearing

MOScout tipster: The Missouri Department of Insurance on Monday held a rare "form E hearing" to consider the merger or Aetna and Humana insurance companies. The hearing was held in the Truman building before a packed crowd and continued through the evening until 1030PM.

The Department hired former Director Jay Angoff to represent its position in the case. Angoff is also helping the department with the Anthem-Cigna merger. Aetna was represented by Chuck Hatfield and a team of Chicago lawyers. Humana also had an out of town team that said nothing during the hearing.

The gallery included: David Smith, lobbyist for Anthem, Tom Holloway from the Missouri State Medical Association, Missy Pannetiere, lobbyist for Blue Cross of Kansas City, Girard Grimaldi, Government affairs for Truman Medical Center, Jane Drummond (Former Mo. Dept of Health Director), now General Counsel to Missouri Hospital Association and Andrea Routh from MetroCARE KC…


Tweet of the Day

Changes coming to the Senate.  See it here.


Today’s Events

Powered by Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

House 80 candidate Peter Merideth – Coolfire Studios, 1101 Lucas Ave, St. Louis – 5:30PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

George Oestreich added Red Cross Pharmacy Inc., Genoa a QOL Healthcare Company.


$5K+ Contributions

Koster for Missouri - $25,000 from Gregory Wendt.

Hanaway for Governor Inc. - $25,000 from Lelia Farr.