Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Schatz Steps In It

Last night Sen. Dave Schatz pushed hard to accept the House version of SB 221.  It would have re-written St. Louis County’s sales tax pooling system.

His push met with stiff resistance, and also rubbed many the wrong way.

Every senator in St. Louis County spoke against idea of accepting the House version.  Yet Schatz, who represents Franklin County, was undeterred.  In fact, he proceeded to rail against those senators as offering “no solutions.”

It was not the usual fare from a Freshman senator in that chamber.  While Sens. Bob Onder and Jill Schupp have been active participants in debate and offering amendments throughout session, neither has gunned for a procedural motion in order to sidestep the wishes of a bloc of senators whose county the legislation would impact.

It was out of bounds by the usual standards of Senate protocol. And it was surprising that Floor Leader Ron Richard let the unsupported bill eat so much time.

One lobbyist late in the evening suggested that Schatz should talk to Sen. Rob Schaaf and hear how much fun it is to not have a committee until your final two years...


Right To Work Today?

Folks are bracing for a long night tonight in the Senate with the expectation right to work will come up for debate.

The House didn’t come close to an override majority, so even if it passes the Senate, there’s really no chance that the bill could become law over the governor’s veto.

Still there are some conservatives who want to push the issue as far as possible.  It’s highly unlikely that they’d resort to a PQ and blow up the final two weeks.  However it could be a long night.


Intern-gate Questions

Southern Missouri’s sudden and unexplained end to their capital internship program has brought questions from observers…

If Missouri Southern withdrew their interns out of concern, have they shared their concerns with other institutions that have interns in the capitol?

Does the House have a policy on treatment of interns?  Did any of the interns file a complaint?


Promise Zone

From Governor’s Press Release: Gov. Jay Nixon today joined U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro in St. Louis to congratulate St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis for successfully obtaining a federal Promise Zone designation…

From HUD’s Fact Sheet

St. Louis and St. Louis County, MO

Lead Partner: The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.

Strategies include: Focus development on high-demand sectors, livable wages and upward mobility.  Link schools’ and training centers’ curricula to the needs of high potential businesses; Invest resources to replace blight with opportunity and value-added amenities; Achieve greater operational coordination and uniformly high professional standards for all police and increase community policing; Increase educational opportunities by expanding access to early childhood programs and parent education programs, and implement evidence-based strategies to return underachieving schools to accreditation; Work with local developers to develop large-scale, mixed-income, mixed-use developments that link housing, retail, infrastructure, and other development to jobs and transit centers; and Improve access to developmental, behavioral, and mental health services that promote healthy habits and behaviors, and safe, stable and healthy living and learning environments.


What are we about fifteen years removed from the “Enterprise Zone” days that brought the convention center hotel to St. Louis and then struggled to make interest payments?  So days I feel old…



“Managed health care provider Centene Corp. reported first-quarter net earnings of $63 million, up 91 percent from the $33 million it reported in the prior year’s quarter….Managed care membership rose to 4.4 million, an increase of 1.4 million members, or 44 percent, from the first quarter of 2014, officials said.”  See it here.


The “ban the box” proposal which Sen. Jamilah Nasheed has been pushing in the legislature got a nice endorsement from a private sector employer… Koch Industries.  Read it here“Koch Industries, a major funder and advocate of criminal justice reform, joins Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, and other large national employers in adopting ban-the-box, demonstrating that such fair-chance hiring policies are gaining widespread acceptance in the business community….”


The Senate perfected its “deadly force” bill to bring Missouri statutes in line with constitutional rulings.  See Virginia Young’s article here.


Walking the halls again – for a day – Melissa Furey (nee DeStefano) but this time with a stroller and kiddo Reagan squealing in delight at each ring of the House bells….


Lobbyist Registrations

Kevin Stamps added Root Cellar.

Ann Schneider added Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis.

Gaurav Parikh and John Michael Whatley added National Restaurant Association.

Kelly Schultz added Office of the Child Advocate.


$5K+ Contributions

MO State Teachers Assoc Legislative Impact CO - $7,416 from Central MSTA Region.

Koster for Missouri - $7,500 from Lawrence Chapman.



Happy birthdays to Brad Bates, and former Rep. Belinda Harris (64).