Thursday, February 4, 2016

Utilities’ Vehicle?

Sen. Ryan Silvey, Chair of the Senate’s Commerce Committee, filed was looks like a potential vehicle for a reconfiguring of the regulatory framework for utilities.  That said, SB 1028 (see it here), is pure bones right now.  There are no details no flesh to what the new framework might be.  It merely outlines the goals that the new policy will hope to achieve.

We’ll see….


Labor Landscape

The failed veto override of right to work over the summer seems to have removed that issue from the radar of the Republican legislative leadership.  They may revisit it in a year or two, but those watching this issue don’t see another right to work push this session.

Instead there are two main fronts to watch.  The first is on prevailing wage.  There are several bills which each in their own way would seek to modify – or water-down – the prevailing wage laws.  For example, HB 1880 would change the definition of “construction” within prevailing wage law.  HB 1699 exempts school construction from prevailing wage. HB 1700 exempts public projects of less than $750,000 from prevailing wage. HB 1406 forbids MHDC from requiring a prevailing wage on its projects.  And HB 1931 would repeal prevailing wage.

The second front on labor issues is a new one for Missouri.  Rep. Rick Brattin’s HB 1740 would “require the State Board of Mediation to conduct an election to certify the exclusive bargaining representatives of an appropriate collective bargaining unit for certain public employees every two years.”  It’s thought that this requirement would divert union efforts from advocating for their members to simply racing around trying to keep their membership intact under the burdens of biannual elections.  One aspect, however, which may give representatives pause: a likely fiscal note in the millions for the cost of the state board to certify all these elections on an on-going basis.


NYTimes Mizzou’s Inclusion Efforts

The New York Times looks at the University of Missouri’s efforts to address the racial tensions and challenges.  See it here.

Pull Quote: College officials have spent decades rolling out one initiative after the next, from scholarships to summer bridge programs to race-conscious admissions, to attract students from underrepresented populations. Since 1980, the percentage of blacks and Hispanics among those attending higher education institutions has more than doubled, from 13 percent to 28 percent in 2014, while the white population has dipped to about 52 percent from 84.

Yet administrators might have been missing a trickier truth: Diversity is one thing, inclusion is another.

Yes, colleges have brought more minorities to campus. But that has not necessarily meant success. The four-year graduation rate for black students who started college in 2007 was 21 percent, a mere 1 percentage point higher than for the 1996 cohort.


Hawley KC Fundy

A February 23 fundraiser for Josh Hawley in Kansas City lists Terry Dunn, Bunk Farrington, Terry Kilroy, Bob Thompson, and Eric Zahnd.  One KC source says this is just the beginning of support from the city that felt burned by Sen. Kurt Schaefer’s earning tax bill.


New Roads Plan

The Post-Dispatch reports on a new plan to fund transportation.  See it here.

The lede makes wince… “Top Republicans are pitching a plan to fix Missouri roads and bridges with money being saved by cuts to welfare programs…”


Committee Moves

Speaker Todd Richardson added Rep. Travis Fitzwater to the Committee on Local Government. And he removed Rep. Mike Lair from the Committee on Consumer Affairs and appoint Rep. Dean Plocher in his place.


Hubbard Bill Doubles StL Treasurer Salary

Rep. Penny Hubbard’s HB 2469 (see it here) would increase the St. Louis City License Collector’s salary from $64,000 to $120,000.  The current collector is Mavis Thompson.


Schmitt Endorsement Roll Out

Sen. Eric Schmitt unleashed a list of 140 Republicans endorsements (see them here).  This long and diverse endorsement list – together with a $2 million war-chest – will probably help Schmitt seal off any primary challenges.  That’s still important as David Wasinger sniffing around a possible statewide bid.  Assuming no one emerges and filing closes at the end of next month, Schmitt would be free to focus his attacks on the Democratic side.


Lobbyists Registrations

Sarah Felts added Advocates of Planned Parenthood of the St Louis Region and Southwest Missouri, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.

Sarah Wood Martin added Midwest Cyber Security Alliance.

Michael Morris added Missouri County Collectors Association, U.S. Cellular, Total Organics Recyclers Inc., St. Louis Apartment Association, and Eco Constructors Inc., St. Louis Composting, Agricycle Inc., and Composting and Organics Association of Missouri.

Angela Schulte added Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation, Missouri Automobile Dealers Association, Millercoors, LLC, Tri County Lodging, Maritz Motivation Solutions Inc., Evicore Healthcare, University Of Missouri System, Southeastrans, Inc., Missouri Hospital Association, Mednax, Systems & Methods, Inc., Missouri Marine Dealers Association, Lake Ozark Marine Dealers Association, Farmer Companies, Missouri Coalition Of Community Behavioral Healthcare, National Popular Vote, Kiel Center Partners/scottrade Center, Pyramid Group, and Rockwood Asset Management.

Andy Blunt, Jay Reichard, Mark Schwartz and Chris Moody added Rockwood Asset Management.

Sue Curran added Fiam Holdings Corp.; and deleted Pyramis Global Advisors Holding Corp.

Anne Silea added Adoption & Foster Care Coalition of Missouri.

Edward Shepherd added Abate for Missouri, and Missouri Confederation of Clubs and Independents.

Robert Hunt added Millercoors LLC.

Michael Edmondson added Missouri Care.

Caitlin Kerber added Cos Action, Radmacher Brothers Excavating, Southeast Missouri State University; and deleted Parents as Teachers National Center, and Missouri Tow Truck Association.

Jessica Mantonya deleted Growpit Technologies LLC, Access Dental & Dentures, Kansas City Concentrates, Osama Yanis, and Domestic Gardener.

Eapen Thampy deleted Access Dental & Dentures.


$5K+ Contributions

PT-PAC of Missouri - $10,000 from Mark Kaufman.

Hawley for Missouri - $10,000 from Ronald Sprouse.

Hawley for Missouri - $10,000 from Immvac Inc.

Grietens for Missouri - $7,500 from Shane Cordes.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Diane Franklin and Danny Pfeifer.



To Matt Jesse and his family.

June Corley Jessee, our angel here on earth, returned to Heaven on February 4, 2016, after a lifelong fight with chronic illness. June taught us to see the beauty and love in every hardship and showed us that each day is a blessing.

Although we will miss her everyday, she will forever remain in our hearts. Beloved daughter of Matt and Genny (nee Lamboley) Jessee, dear sister of George Jessee, dear granddaughter of Tim and Carol Size, Cindy Lamboley, Rusty and Diane Lamboley, Dan and Renee Jessee, dear great-granddaughter of Bob Canepa, Ann Size and the late Walter and Diane Jessee, Francis and Barbara Corley, Harold and Genevieve Lamboley, June Canepa, and William Size, dear niece and cousin and inspiration to so many.

Services:  Memorial Mass will be held Saturday, February 6, 2016 2:00 p.m. at Church of the Annunziata, Clayton Rd. with celebration of her life at Old Warson Country Club to follow.

In her memory, June's family is establishing the June Jessee Memorial Foundation to support children like June with life-limiting disabilities. Memorial contributions appreciated.