Thursday, July 9, 2015

Nixon to Sign Muni Reform

Governor Jay Nixon is expected to sign SB 5 today.  This is the bill to limit the amount of revenue a municipality can raise through traffic fines.

But amid the cheers may be some wariness. As the St. Louis CBS affiliate reports that munis will likely look for loopholes… See it here.


Bill sponsor Sen. Eric Schmitt gets the twitter high-five from Grover NorquistSee it here.


Schaefer, Bahr Win on Common Core

Yesterday DESE Assistant Commissioner Sharon Helwig sent a letter to Tony Alpert, Executive Director of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, informing him that due to the legislature “Missouri will not continue as a licensee of materials for the 2015-2016 school year…”

One observer puts this as a “huge deal,” and a victory for Sen. Kurt Schaefer and Rep. Kurt Bahr as “the two who wrote and fought for this language. They have killed common core in Missouri.”

Excerpt from the letter:

The appropriations bill passed by the legislature and signed by the governor contains language preventing the agency from spending money as a member or licensee of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

The appropriations bill, House Bill 2 contains the following directions: To the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education For the Performance Based Assessment Program, provided that no funds are used to support the collection, distribution, or sharing of any individually identifiable student data with federal government with the exception of the reporting requirements of the Migrant Education Program funds in Section 2.085, the Vocational Rehabilitation funds in Section 2.135, and the Disability Determination funds in Section 2.140, and further provided that no funds from this section shall be used for license fees or membership dues for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium… Included with this letter you will find the required legal opinion affirming that Missouri may no longer engage with the consortium as a member or licensee…


Burke Follow-Up

The cover story of the Riverfront Times this week revisits Virginia Young’s story of Brittany Burke’s police report.  See it here.

They appear to have had the cooperation of Burke to write the story with the thrust being that the Jefferson City Police Department did a crappy investigation. The story says that Burke never asked them to close the case, which contradicts the police report where the officer claims “Burke wanted me to call Diehl and make sure I tell him that she is the one that wants this report to stop.”

One observer texted he expects “consequences” in the JCity Police Department and at the Post Dispatch because of this article.  Maybe reopen the investigation?

We’ll see….


Dotson for Armed Offender Docket

St. Louis City Police Chief Sam Dotson railed against judges yesterday.  Post-Dispatch has the story here.  See his blog post here.

Pull Quote from his blog: When we look for ways to combat these increases, the suggestion of an Armed Offender Docket, a dedicated path through the City’s Circuit Court system to specific courtrooms, continually comes up. It’s been suggested by former Police Chief Dan Isom, by Mayor Francis Slay, by Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce and by professors from the University of Missouri - St. Louis as a way to better monitor outcomes for individuals arrested for “lesser” charges like Unlawful Use of a Weapon… Too often, the decisions made by some judges, not all but some, impact public safety in such a terrible way… The reality is that judges are as responsible for public safety as the police officers who ride in our neighborhoods…. I can’t think of a more compelling case to have an Armed Offender Docket in the City of St. Louis…


The New Akin?

Washington Post reports that the National Republic Party Chairman phoned Donald Trump beseeching him to dial down the rhetoric.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Trump “could become the 2016 version of Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, who tarnished the GOP brand in 2012 with an offensive statement about rape,” strategist Karl Rove wrote in a column for Thursday’s Wall Street Journal. “Republican leaders from Mitt Romney on down immediately condemned his words, but swing voters were persuaded that every Republican believed what Mr. Akin said.” One GOP state party chairman, speaking on the condition of anonymity so he could be frank, said of Trump: “He’s already done some damage, and it could be substantial going forward. He could be one of the reasons we lose. It’s that serious. There’s nothing we can do about it, and that’s what’s so scary.”

Re-Tweet of the Day

Daryl Duwe retweeted Monica Anthony: If I was advising Trump, I'd tell him to go for the gusto & challenge Hillary to a debate on pay-per-view.


DC GOP Splintering?

Politico has an article today about Republican in-fighting with a mention of Rep. Ann WagnerSee it here.

Pull Quote: House Republicans have entered a new season of sniping. GOP leadership has spent weeks twisting arms to get dozens of lawmakers — even some subcommittee chairs — to pony up to the campaign arm, a basic annual obligation of party loyalty… While the party committee relies on donors to underwrite most of their political activities — primarily to help reelect incumbent Republicans — money from lawmakers is another important source of funding. But top Republicans, chiefly Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner, were forced to make a last-minute push to collect dues from tardy lawmakers. The reasons for not donating to the NRCC vary, but they do represent a measure of discord within the House Republican Conference. Many members in the Freedom Caucus forgo paying their full dues…


eMailbag on Nixon’s Gay Rights Evolution

To be fair to Jay Nixon nearly half of the Democrats were on the wrong side of history in 2004. Although Jay, unlike most of the Democrats, may have had a certain vigor in his opposition. The other ones kept their mouths shut. Kudos to the magnificent Gina Walsh who may be the only legislator still around that was against the constitutional amendment in 2004.


Lobbyists Registrations

Kristi Ray deleted Columbia Chamber of Commerce.


$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for Byron DeLear - $14,000 from Byron DeLear.

MO Democratic State Committee - $10,000 from Koster for Missouri.

Friends of Christine Ingrassia - $16,131 from Saint Louis Union Station.

Shelter Insurance Company State PAC - $15,000 from Shelter Mutual Insurance Company.



Happy birthdays to former Rep. Don Ruzicka (58), and Ron Fitzwater (61).