Monday, December 22, 2014

Weekly Poll Crosstabs

Find the crosstabs to the weekly poll in the Special Reports here.  The right track / wrong track numbers are a bit higher than last week, but still abysmal.

Interesting to see Roy Blunt, who is up for re-election in 2016, has negative approval numbers. There haven’t been any mention of a top-tier Democratic candidate yet to take on Blunt.

I would not have expected Tom Schweich’s numbers to be on par with Catherine Hanaway given that he just finished a re-election campaign, albeit a relatively low-key campaign facing no opponent.  And because it will be said privately, let me write it publicly.  Remington Research, who does my polling, is owned by Jeff Roe who is Hanaway’s consultant.

 

House Committee Realignment

Lobbyists are awaiting the unveiling of the House committee overhaul.  Speaker-designate John Diehl and Floor Leader-elect Todd Richardson have been floating versions of the restructuring for about six months now.  The below list is based on versions that have been out there.  The final product will not be this list, but shouldn’t be too far off either.

The purpose of the reorganization is to bring a bit more rationality to the House committee structure which has become a bit sprawling over the years.  There would be broader (“select”) committees with sub-committee types beneath them. These select committees would review the legislation from the narrower “sub-committees” acting in the function that Rules did in previous sessions.

House leadership believes that a rationalized committee apparatus will allow it be more consistent in the policies it’s proposing.  The select committees vetting process might prevent scattershot, contradictory bills from being advanced.

But it will also make the House more effective when dealing with the governor and the Senate.  With committees that correspond to state agencies, any House investigations will fall to the committee with expertise and oversight.  Meanwhile, in conference committees with the Senate, the House is hoping it will be able to more effectively have a “single House voice” on various policy issues.

 

Agriculture

Agriculture Policy

Conservation and Natural Resources

Budget

Appropriations- Agriculture Appropriations- Education

Appropriations- General Administration

Appropriations- Health, Mental Health, and Social Services

Appropriations- Public Safety and Corrections

Appropriations- Revenue, Transportation, and Economic Development

Commerce

Economic Development and Business Attraction and Retention

Small Business

Telecommunications

Trade and Tourism

Education

Elementary and Secondary Education

Higher Education

Financial Institutions 

Banking

Consumer Affairs

Pensions

General Laws 

Emerging Issues

Professional Registration and Licensing

Veterans

Ways and Means

Insurance

Health Insurance

Property, Casualty and Life Insurance

Judiciary

Civil and Criminal Proceedings

Corrections

Labor and Industrial Relations

Employment Security and Workers Compensation

Workforce Standards and Development

Social Services

Children and Families

Health and Mental Health Policy

State and Local Government

Elections

Local Governments

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Transportation

Utilities

Energy and the Environment

Utility Infrastructure

OTHER

Administration and Accounts

Ethics

Fiscal Review

Rules

 

Ameren Rate Case

It appears that the annual tussle between Ameren and their biggest customer Noranda will play out in the arena of the Public Service Committee this year – much like last year.

However last year it was Ameren the defense as Noranda filed a complaint of overearning, and proposed a rate relief case.  Ameren was successful on those fronts last year.

This year, Ameren is asking for a rate increase.

Last week the PSC staff released their “cost of service” study.

In my reading, it appears that the staff is okay with a roughly $100 million increase in rates.

“Staff’s recommended requirement increase for Ameren Missouri is $97,685,095 to 128,594,790, based on a return on equity (“ROE”) range of 9.00% to 9.50%.  Staff supports the mid-point of its ROE recommendation of 9.25% and a corresponding revenue requirement increase of $113,139,943.”

I am no utilities expert, and I know I will regret offering my opinion here because I will likely receive plenty of “feedback” from passionate supporters of both sides, but…. I do wonder about the 9-9.5% range.  It sounds lofty in a world where 10-year Treasuries are paying 2%.

Also in the report are staff’s recommendation on rate design.  That is, given the overall rate increase, who should pay what portion of it.

They recommend residential customers bearing a 7.1% increase in rates.  But even steeper is the Large Transmission Service which I believe is the description of Noranda’s class.  It would see a 14.84% increase.  This appears to indicate that PSC staff isn’t buying that Noranda “can’t afford” their electric bill, and they’re disinclined to off-load the Noranda cost to other rate-payers.

The Office of Public Counsel’s recommendations will likely be quite different from the staff report, so it’ll be interesting to see that filing as well.

 

MCN To Name Names

On her Facebook last night Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal vented about duplicitous white “allies:” LOVE ME OR HATE ME FOR SAYING THIS, but I have to get it out into the open and frankly I don't care if I'm offending anyone. This is MY FB page and you can press unfriend at any time.

SOME White people DO genuinely care about racial injustice and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have shown me your kindness through your words and numerous actions. My heart is with you always!

But there are some White people in University City I've known for years and they won't even talk about the race issue. And they choose to ignore me as if we've never had coffee together or gone for long walks together or celebrated family events together. They've chosen to verbally demean me and others for speaking the truth. Some of them like to pick and choose what Blacks are acceptable to them to join the "insiders club". Usually the quiet ones. If we don't cut the muster, their noses go straight into the air. I'm letting this all out and will start naming names soon. I'm term limited so I don't care…

 

Rowden House Hit

Also from Facebook, Rep. Caleb Rowden: “Crazy day for Aubrey and I. She got home from church w/ Willem to find that our house had been broken into and robbed. Had some stuff stolen, but we are fine. Stuff can always be replaced! Just glad to have a wife and kiddo to cuddle with tonight…”

 

New Committees

On Saturday I listed new committee filings.  Here are a few of the interesting ones in case you missed it…

Teresa Hensley filed for Circuit Judge.  She had been Cass County Prosecutor before losing in November.  Previously she’d run unsuccessfully for Congress, losing to Vicky Hatzler.

Ken McClure filed to run for Springfield City Council.  He’s Matt Blunt’s former chief of staff.

Fred Sauer filed a campaign committee to support his campaign contribution limits initiative petition.

 

Bits

Rep. Mike Moon hired Dave Myers as his new legislative assistant.  Myers worked on Shane Schoeller’s Green County Clerk campaign.

 

On Casenet, former St. Louis City mayor Freeman Bosley has two new judgments entered against him by Division of Employment Security. One is for $6,818.31 and the other is for $3,822.84.

 

While St. Louis City struggles has struggled this year with a surge of homicides after years of declines, Kansas City has had no similar spike.  From the police chief’s tweet: @ChiefForte: .@kcpolice Homicides: 72 this year compared to 99 this time last year, 101 this time in 2012     107 this time in 2011.

 

Help Wanted

House seeks Help.  “The House of Representatives is accepting resumes/applications for hourly part-time positions to work during the months of January through May. Person will be working with the general public and assisting on various projects within representatives’ offices. Must have the ability to operate a personal computer and a general proficiency in Microsoft Office. Good oral and written communication skills are required. $10.00 Hourly.”  See the ad here.

 

Lobbyist Registrations

Scott Marrs added UHS of Deleware Inc., and NHC Reliant LLC; and deleted Heartland Behavioral Health Services.

Noel Torpey added Fair Energy Rate Action Fund (FERAF).

Cruz Giovanni Garibay added Jackson Vaughn Public Strategies LLC, and Cash America International Inc.

Craig Fowler added Bank Of America.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Civic Progress Action Committee - $13,000 from Enterprise Holdings Inc Political Action Committee.

Missourians for Koster - $10,000 from Express Scripts Inc.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $15,000 from Express Scripts Inc.

 

Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to Sen. Dan Brown and Shannon Cooper (47).

 

Congratulations

To Roorda’s Ryan Burke, on his engagement to Katie Hennrich.

 

MOScout News

It’s a short week for me folks… I’ll send Daily Updates on Tuesday and Wednesday, but then it’s Christmas break.  Nothing – no updates, Who Won Week, Weekly poll etc – until next Monday.  Next week I expect to be quiet, so we’ll do the end of the year Readers’ Polls – best lobbyist, best legislators etc.