Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Senate Starts on Insurance Bill

Sen. Mike Parson’s SB 205 which regulates insurance holding companies ran into resistance on the floor.  It was the same issue that raised concerns in committee: whether to exempt smaller companies.

Lobbyist Woody Cozad had testified against the bill in committee for his client CNS Corporation.  (CNS presumably stands for Charles N. Sharpe, the chairman of the board). CNS is one of those smaller companies.

Cozad loomed large in the Senate debate as Parson asked whether a particular amendment – exempting smaller companies – had been written by the lobbyist.

Parson believes that Cozad’s client is the only insurance holding company against his bill, and seemed to be searching for a way to carve out that one company.  Cozad testified in committee that the reason other small companies weren’t testifying against it was because they didn’t have lobbyists, but that the opposition was broader than just one company.

Sen. Brian Munzlinger offered the amendments to exempt small companies.  He was supported on the floor by Sen. Bob Dixon.  However the amendments were defeated.

Still the bill was laid over, providing more time for the two sides to reach a compromise.

 

Ferguson Updates

AP’s David Lieb digs through the emails and memos and puts together an outline of the discussions and strategy for deploying the National Guard in advance of the anticipated non-indictment announcement.  Read it here.  One wonders if the huffing about impeachment will continue.

 

And Politico reports that the practice of excessive fines in Ferguson may lead to a Justice Department suit.  Read it here“In weighing whether to bring discrimination charges against the Ferguson Police Department, the Justice Department has been ‘seriously examining’ allegations that the city’s enforcement of minor offenses discriminated against minorities and often led to jail times and fines that lined the city’s coffers…”

 

Five for the Future

It never hurts to look around the corner… so here’s a bit of peering into the future.  It’s assumed that Floor Leader Todd Richardson will ascend to the speaker’s office in January 2017.  But who will follow him in 2019?

There will be greater clarity in the coming years, but right now the names that are mentioned are: Reps. Kevin Austin, Robert Cornejo, Elijah Haahr, Rocky Miller, and Caleb Rowden.  Of these, Rowden and Haahr are seen as the favorites at this early date.

Of course the future will hold some twists and turns.  Political fortunes can grow and abate; priorities can change.  But that’s the best stab right now.

Tell me, who did I miss?  Who should we watch?

 

Bits

Senator Roy Blunt was in the building yesterday meeting with Republicans.  But the real question – as yet unanswered – what did he talk to Sen. Rob Schaaf about when he was in Schaaf’s office for almost an hour…

 

Auditor Tom Schweich zinged the St. Joseph School District with a “poor” rating on its audit.  See the article here. “St. Joseph is the only school district in Missouri to receive a rating of poor in the past several years… FBI and grand jury investigations into the St. Joseph School District began after $5,000 stipends were paid to 54 top administrators last year by Superintendent Fred Czerwonka. Those payments, now referred to as the ‘Candyman’ stipends, were not approved by the school board.”

 

In the events calendar tonight, the place to be will be the Capitol Plaza for the Epilepsy Gala.  There was some rehearsing of jokes last night at Pfennys and it promises to be a fun night…

 

New Committees

Pulaski County Republican Club, a political action committee, was formed.  Its treasurer is David Ernst.

Missourians for Conservative Values PAC, a political action committee, was formed.  Its treasurer is Matthew Gerstner.

 

Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar…
MIBA Luncheon - DoubleTree Hotel – Jefferson City – Noon to 3 p.m.

Reps. Paul Fitzwater, Lyndall Fraker, Jim Neely, Craig Redmon Reception – Mo CU Assn., Jefferson City – 6 p.m.

Capitol Gala benefits Epilepsy Foundation – Capitol Plaza, Jefferson City – 6:30-8 p.m.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Committee to Elect Reed - $10,000 from CHIPP Political Account.

 

Lobbyist Registrations

Mark Allan Van Zandt added University of Missouri.

Mark Stallman and Molly Dempsey added St. Charles County Association of Realtors.

Jorgen Schlemeier, Jeff Brooks, Bill Gamble, and Sarah Topp added Midwest Special Needs Trust.

Alex Eaton, Greg Porter, and Danny Pfeifer added Uber Technologies Inc.

Chuck Gatschenberger added VVG Investements LLC, and Ozark Investments LLC.

Aaron Baker added Leo O’Laughlin Inc.

Linda Laird added Concerned Women for America of Missouri.

Michelle Scott-Huffman added Missouri National Education Association.

 

Notes on Registration

It looks like that Molly Dempsey is our Molly Dempsey, wife of President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey.  On her registration, she says she will only lobby elected local government officials.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Rep. Jeffery Justus (61) and MPACT’s Carissa Rupp.