And Away We Go…
Post-Dispatch’s Alex Stuckey reports on opening day. See it here.
Pull Quote: Following a legislative session plagued by scandal and gridlock, new leaders in both the Missouri House and Senate have pledged to work together more cooperatively on issues, including ethics reform… Missouri is the only state in the country with no campaign contribution limits, no lobbyist gift limits and no laws governing when a lawmaker can become a lobbyist. Lawmakers have tried and failed for years to pass ethics reform, as recently as last year. But Democrats and Republicans agree the legislative scandals of last year, coupled with the impending 2016 elections, could help an ethics measure succeed… [Speaker Todd] Richardson promised to send all ethics bills to a committee on Thursday, so discussion on a solid ethics reform package could begin as early as next week. Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said he’s going to let the House take the lead on ethics reform, but that the Senate will have discussions as well.
Senate Press Release
Fostering a stronger, more resilient economy and addressing the state's antibusiness legal environment will be top issues for this year's legislative session Senate Leader Ron Richard (R-Joplin) and Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) announced today. The Senate leaders said they want to pass legislation that will create jobs across all industries and build stronger communities in the state.
Sen. Richard said his main priorities this first session as President Pro Tempore are the priorities of the Senate as a whole. He said he is looking forward to working efficiently and effectively these last three years in the Senate and doing something no one else has done.
"As Senate leader, my first step is going to make sure all pre-filed bills are referred to committee by next Thursday," said Richard. "We are going to be giving more emphases on senators' district priorities and make sure caucus issues are on the floor early for open and fair debate."
Sen. Richard said he is going to continue the discussion on funding transportation which will continue to be a pressing statewide issue…
Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) said ethics also continues to be a topic of discussion around the Capitol. "As Chairman of the Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions, and Ethics committee, I am committed to making progress on ethics reform, but it might take us passing a couple of smaller bills rather than one large all-inclusive bill," said Kehoe. "We have such a remarkable sense of tradition in this building, and I have every intention of keeping that tradition alive."
Smith’s SCRUB Moves
Congressman Jason Smith on Facebook writes that “HR 1155, the SCRUB ACT, that works to seek out and remove overly burdensome regulations, I introduced in March will be voted on this week.” See a press release on the SCRUB ACT here.
Observers see the action on Smith’s bill as one more piece of evidence that he’s become an impact player in DC for Missouri.
Justice for House 153?
Eddy Justice, HRCC Treasurer and Chair of the 8th Congressional District Republican Committee, was walking around the building yesterday. Word is that he’s eyeing a run in 2018 for House 153. That’s when the current incumbent, Rep. Steve Cookson, would be termed out.
New LeVota Vehicle
As suspected, the new Leadership for Missouri PAC has become a repository for former Sen. Paul LeVota’s remaining campaign funds of nearly $100K. In the large contributions (below) see his funds are being moved over. His wife, Nancy LeVota, was the treasurer of his campaign account, and is the treasurer of the new PAC.
No Longer Theoretical
Washington Post reports on a cyber-attack taking out an electrical grid. See it here.
Pull Quote: U.S. Homeland Security and intelligence agencies are analyzing computer code from what appear to be one of the first known cyberattacks that resulted in an electrical power outage — this one in Ukraine… [P]rivate-sector analysts who have reviewed the malicious software see the attack as a rare instance in which a hacking incident involving an industrial control system has affected ordinary citizens.
“That is a milestone in itself,’’ said John Hultquist, director of cyberespionage analysis for iSight Partners, a computer security firm.
Privately, U.S. officials said it will take time to understand how the attack occurred.
Korman Files Bill on Lobbyist Sex
Rep. Bart Korman filed HB 2059 yesterday. See it here. It “specifies that sexual relations between lobbyists and members of the General Assembly or their staff shall be considered gifts subject to reporting with certain exceptions.”
Which led one lobbyist to ask… So: how much is sex with a lobbyist worth, I wonder?
“Hearing Russ Carnahan is expected to make a decision by Thursday/Friday. My bet is that he pulls a Joe Biden…”
Some Dems are floating the notion that Judy Baker should run for the state House again since she has two terms left as they try to clean up some of their primaries. Behind the talk may be fear that Baker’s role in the ObamaCare roll-out could hurt others on the slate if she’s on the state-wide ticket. We’ll see…
Jeff Mizanskey will be in Jefferson City to thank lawmakers for their support of his release from a term of life imprisonment for marijuana felonies tomorrow at noon.
Spotted earlier this week in Jefferson City: former speaker John Diehl with some state reps….
Jay Hahn and Whitney O’Daniel announced the development of Hahn O’Daniel LLC, a full service government relations firm… Hahn and O’Daniel plan to provide more than just representation in the Missouri State Capitol. They will specialize in government relations, association management, grassroots activation, and media/content management… Hahn serves as the Director of Government Relations for the Missouri Optometric Association… O’Daniel currently serves as a contract lobbyist for second amendment issues, business interests and associations….
Since I was last in Jefferson City…. Truman Hotel all boarded up.
New TV Buys
Donald Trump buying TV in Kirksville market which gets part of Iowa. See the ad contract here.
From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:
Governor’s Prayer Breakfast – Capitol Plaza Hotel – 7:10AM.
MO Senate Democratic Caucus Reception – Columbia Country Club – 5:30PM
Michael Steelman, Emily Ross, Hailey Krueger, Tori Schafer, Rachel Dougherty, Katherine Blaue, Emma Smoczynski, Jenna Slocum, Nathan Theus, Christine Hoober, Caleb Wilson, and Kaitlin Steen added The Associated Students Of The University Of Missouri (asum)
Sherri Durk-Farrell added St Louis - Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council, Cortex, St. Louis – Jefferson Solid Waste Management District, Center for Emerging Technologies, James E Farrell and Associate, Policy Solutions, Historic Alliance for Missouri, and American Heart Association
Jeffrey Kipping added St. Louis Composting, Composting and Organics Association of Missouri, U.S. Cellular, Missouri County Collectors Association, St. Louis Apartment Association, and Missouri Asphalt Pavement Association; and deleted Missouri Consumers Health Network.
Michael Benoist added Missouri Department Of Labor And Industrial Relations.
Michael Michelson added Caldwell County Commission.
Luann Madsen deleted The Britton Group LLC.
Greitens for Missouri - $5,001 from Vincent Curran.
Leadership for Missouri PAC - $93,896 from LeVota for Missouri.
Leadership for Missouri PAC - $10,495 from LeVota for Missouri.
New Approach Missouri - $8,100 from Thomas Mundell.
Missouri Alliance PAC - $25,000 from CJP Surgical LLC.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $5,124 from Citizens to Elect Rocky Miller.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $6,050 from Friends for Paul Fitzwater.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc – $7,500 from Friends of Robert Cornejo.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $9,000 from Fitzpatrick for House.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $100,000 from Todd Richardson.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $25,000 from Grow Missouri.
Happy birthday to Gentry Trotter.