Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Special Session

Governor Jay Nixon’s meetings with the Republican caucuses of the House and Senate went as well as could be expected.  It doesn’t seem like he changed any hearts, but he did give lawmakers an opportunity to hear the pitch and vent a bit.

There will likely be some minor tweaks to the draft legislation that was circulated including an ending date for the authority to offer this deal.  There won’t be any sunset added to it because the sunsets are included in the various components already.

The vibe seems to be that people want to get it done, but lots of wariness about the amount of subsidy the state is plunking down.

It’s said that in response to the legislators, the governor’s office will be providing a total “worst

case” scenario number.  The worst case is also the best case in that it would mean that Boeing is bringing enough production here to warrant the full use of the subsidies. 

This number will likely sound scary.  Like definitely over a billion.  Some of the subsidy components can go on for over a decade.  And if you were figuring just $100 million a year (not the full $150 million) for ten years… Boom you’re at a billie right there.  Two billies wouldn’t surprise me.

The Senate’s Economic Development Committee will hear the bill at 5pm. 

Senate Floor Leader Ron Richard indicated that he plans to start debate on the bill Wednesday morning at 10 am.

Who’s Lobbying?

Boeing’s not.  Instead it appears to be a hodge-podge “volunteer army” including lobbyists for several big St. Louis companies who see the potential for the region.  Missouri Chamber of Commerce is involved.  The coordinator-in-chief appears to be Denton (Rodney Boyd, Brian Grace, and Kelvin Simmons) at the behest of Civic Progress.  Grace was most visible on the Senate side yesterday.

Dems To Issue Medicaid Report

Today Senate Democrats are set to issue a scathing “minority report” on the Senate’s Interim Committee on Medicaid Transformation and Reform.

From the report: The committee’s report is not based on the actual testimony and information presented to the committee as it ignores those who testified regarding Medicaid expansion in Missouri. When minority members requested the committee report contain information regarding Medicaid expansion they were told such a subject was “not under the purview of the committee’s responsibility” despite the fact that 52.4% of the committee testimony related to Medicaid expansion. After rejecting the topic of Medicaid expansion, the committee added Tort Reform to the report’s Recommendations section despite a complete lack of committee discussion and witness testimony on the matter.

What The Minority Report Recommends

Medicaid eligibility be expanded to those citizens with incomes up to 138% of Federal Poverty Level;

 

A hybrid approach based on the “premium assistance” model be adopted if traditional Medicaid expansion is not politically feasible;

 

Certain recommendations from the Majority Report be enacted along with Medicaid expansion, including: extending current Managed Care programs; transitioning populations currently in the fee-for-service programs into regionally-based Accountable Care Organizations; and reforming hospital payment structures;

 

and Certain other recommendations from the Majority Report be enacted regardless of whether Medicaid is expanded, including: coordinating care for dual eligible individuals; better management of “super utilizers”; decreasing emergency room over-utilization; strengthening Missouri’s MO HealthNet False Claims Act; increasing the asset limit; and adding preventive dental services for adults and the disabled.

Webb Resigns

Steve Webb finally gave his long-awaited resignation yesterday… Here’s the statement: “Today is a tough day for me personally. But, this job is never about oneself. It has been an honor to serve the people of Missouri's 67th District. I've enjoyed this opportunity because it's given me a platform to be a voice for common, everyday people. My commitment to serving others goes far beyond political office. I strongly believe that the allegations against me will work themselves out. It's only right and fair that my family, the people and my colleagues not be negatively be impacted by the distractions these legal challenges present. With that being said, it's with a heavy heart that I will be resigning my office effective immediately.”

Kelly, Curtis Jump on the Opening

Rep. Chris Kelly Wants to Take Webb’s Caucus Chair

To all of my fellow Democratic Colleagues.

 

I write to ask you for your support for the office of Caucus Chair.   I believe that I was a good Vice Chair for Steve and good teacher for our newer members.

 

Let me also tell you however that if you chose me I intend to involve myself heavily in fundraising and will be coming to you for your active assistance.

 

Thank you for your friendship and support.

 

Chris Kelly

Vice Chairman

So Does Rep. Courtney Curtis

From: Courtney Curtis

Sent: Monday, December 02, 2013 6:51 PM

To: Chris Kelly

Cc: _Democrat Representatives

Subject: Curtis for Caucus chair

 

As much as Rep. Kelly is a valued member of our caucus, I want to say that now is the time for us to look forward and train the next generation of leaders.

 

With that being said I will be running for Democratic Caucus chair, and I’d love to have the support of all members of the caucus.  If passion is any indicator of what I'm willing to do for the betterment of our members I think I’ve shown a tremendous amount, if the ability to show no fear is an indicator of who I’m willing to go up against, then I think I’ve shown that.

 

We have a tremendous opportunity In Front of us to move forward and invest in the future, if we don’t make the change now when will we make it, when will it be the right time to train our future leaders?  I’ll be calling all of you in the coming days, and I welcome your questions.

 

Courtney Curtis

On the Move: Lakin to Victory Enterprises

Joe Lakin, brain to Floor Leader John Diehl, is moving over to the private side.  He’ll join Dave Hageman’s operations at Victory Enterprises.  Lakin is said to be heading up a new arm of those operations, Victory PR, which will do corporate work.  Additionally Lakin expects to be “helping some friends” on their campaigns in 2014.

On the Move: Curchin to Team Diehl

Taking Lakin’s spot on Team Diehl will be Alex Curchin.  Curchin was formerly the House’s general counsel before spending the last year with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.  His return to the House puts him in a position of influence as chief of staff for the floor leader in the upcoming session, and then the speaker’s office for the two years afterwards.

Curchin is well-liked among the Republican House Caucus.  He will bring more emphasis on policy and procedure to Team Diehl, as Lakin’s expertise was more on the political side.

Every time I Think I’m Out, They Pull Me Back In….?

With Curchin headed back to the House, might Missouri Chamber lasso their former employee, Rich AuBuchon, retaining him and his posse at Polsinelli to augment their lobbying for next session? It was a good fit last session when the Chamber succeeded with the second injury fund fix.

On the Move: Millner to DED

Brian Millner has left John Bardgett and Associates (see lobbyist registrations below) and is now working for the administration, doing legislative work for the Department of Economic Development.  Yesterday was his first day on the job… a special session focusing on an enormous economic development package.  Welcome to the deep end…

One observer says it looks like a win-win-win situation.  Millner will pick up some sector specific expertise; the governor gets a well-qualified and ambitious go-getter; and Bardgett Inc. has an alum in a hot-spot department.

Shaul in House 113

Dan Shaul started a campaign committee to run for House 113 as a Republican.  The incumbent, Democrat Jeff Roorda, is running for state senate.  Shaul is state director for Missouri Grocers Association.  See him talk about the cost of food here.

This will be a hot district in 2014, in the battleground area of Jefferson County.

Peters in House 91

Dr. Michael Peters started a campaign committee to run for House 91 as a Republican.  This is a lean Democratic district.   The incumbent is Democrat Rep. Jeanne Kirkton

Peters has started a Facebook page (see it here) but not much is up yet.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Andrew B Blunt and Jay Reichard added Normandy School District.

Brian Millner deleted John Bardgett & Associates; and added Missouri Departmen of Economic Development.

Elise Helgesen deleted Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

           

$5K+Contributions

Missourians for Fair Taxation - $30,000 from Missouri Association of REALTORS.

Schupp for Senate - $5,500 from Friends for Gin Walsh.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $6,000 from Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri Local 2665 PAC Fund.