Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Kander Quarter

Word is that Secretary of State Jason Kander raised over $200,000 this quarter and will show about $400,000 on-hand when reports are filed next week.

One observer notes that’s “more than Peter Kinder, Chris Koster and Clint Zweifel had combined at this point in the 2012 cycle…”

While Republicans have jostled for position to run for governor (Catherine Hanaway and Tom Schweich), and attorney general (Tim Jones, Kurt Schaefer and Eric Schmitt), all’s been quiet on the secretary of state front.

Transportation Tax Compromise Coming?

The House perfected the 1% sales tax to fund transportation ballot question yesterday.  A few people were talking about a possible compromise when it finally gets to the Senate that would melt the resistance there.

The talk was that the tax increase would be modified to a ¾ cent increase.  Furthermore one source indicated that there might be promises made with regard to other pieces of legislation to incentivize certain senators to seat down.  For example, no more floor time for the prescription drug monitoring bill could entice Sen. Rob Schaaf; no more floor time for Medicaid expansion could be a carrot for Sen. John Lamping.

Other House Action

The House perfected their version of the criminal code revision, amending it as the Senate did to delay implementation until August of 2017.  That gives the legislature two more session to tweak the changes if some unintended consequences are found.

The House perfected HB 1144 which “prohibits the Missouri Housing Development Commission from requiring a prevailing hourly wage to be paid to a contractor on a project for a housing tax credit if it is in a Governor-declared disaster area.”  The narrow margin for perfection – 85 votes – shows how bills that are anti-organized labor are not necessarily easy for the Republican supermajority to pass.

And today the expectation is that right to work will come to the House floor.  The latest guess whip count I heard has proponents around 76 votes.  That means they could perfect the bill today depending on who’s there and who “takes a walk” etc.  Still they’re likely a little short right now – even with arm-twisting – of the necessary 82 votes to pass the bill.  Of course nothing certain until the big board closes…

Dem on Dem Testy Debates and Non-Debates

Yesterday also saw some tempers flare… In the House on SB 532, Rep. Penny Hubbard, who was handling the bill for Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, refused to accept an inquiry from a fellow Democrat.  It drew this angry email from Rep. Jeremy LaFaver which was circulating among House Dems…

From: Jeremy LaFaver <jeremy@jeremylafaver.com>

Date: April 8, 2014 3:00:51 PM CDT

Subject: Bush League

 

Members,

 

Moments ago on the Floor of the House of Representatives, one of our members rose to inquire of a Senate Bill handler after the handler had stated she would take any questions.  Our member, Rep. Morgan, inquired of the handler at which time the handler said she was unwilling to accept the inquiry.

 

This is one of the most, if not THE most, disrespectful thing I have ever seen in ANY legislative body.  To make matters so much worse, the offending member is a member of our own damn caucus.  WTF?

 

If a member of the other party had pulled such a BS move, our members would be united in anger - rightfully so.  I don't know what, if anything, we can or should do about this, but I find the actions of one of our members to be the most egregious example of collegial disrespect I've ever witnessed.

 

This was a slap in the face to ALL members, of any party, and I encourage folks to treat the offending member with the same amount of respect she has shown Rep. Morgan.

 

Democratically yours,

Jeremy

Meanwhile on the Senate side, while debating TIF legislation Sen. Jason Holsman triggered a trip wire by saying that Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal had “irrational sensibilities.”  She went ballistic on him, and the two took their spat to the back of the chamber.  The bill was perfected.

Wheeler to MO Soybeans

Gary Wheeler was named the new head of the Missouri Soybean Association.  See it here.  He comes from the Missouri Corn Growers Association.

One rumor had Farm Bureau’s public affair director Estil Fretwell in the running for the job.  That fueled palace intrigue talk among the agricultural groups.  Some of them resent the Farm Bureau’s influence within the building, which they think is undeserved.  The idea of a Bureau-ite taking over Soybean was problematic for those folks.

Some Election Results

Rep. Bonnaye Mims won her race for school board.

Voters in Nixa approved their $9.5 million bond issue 69% to 28%.  This came after Missouri Club for Growth spent money trying to persuade voters otherwise.  Though they may have created a backlash in the process.

Former Cole McNary legislative assistant Linda Rallo knocked off an incumbent alderman in Town and Country winning the race with 75% of the vote.

Bits

Democrat Larry Brown withdrew yesterday in House 49.  This is the Jeanie Riddle seat.  She’s running for state senate.  Travis Fitzwater is the Republican nominee.

Rep. Rochelle Walton Gray was added to the Special Standing Committee on Corrections.  She takes the place of Rep. Rory Ellinger.

 

eMailbag: Locals Do What Gen Assembly Won’t

“Related to the school financing issues and smoke-free proposal, these are examples of local actions that are necessitated when the General Assembly ‘punts’ on issues that are proper subjects for state-level action. Missouri has not fully funded the school foundation formula in many years, so many local school districts have had to find ways to make up for funds promised by state legislation, but not received. And the toll of tobacco use statewide is huge - in terms of dollars in the state budget like Medicaid spending for tobacco-related illness - but also in terms of lost productivity for employers and pain and suffering to families. Yet the General Assembly has not voted for smoke-free workplaces statewide, an essential part of comprehensive tobacco use prevention and cessation strategies that have worked in other states.”

Fundraising Calendar

Today’s fundraising events from Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Sen. Kiki Curls Breakfast – The Grand Café, Jefferson City – 7:30-9 a.m.

MO Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Assn (MPCA) lobby day.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Kristen Blanchard added XCaliber International LTD LLC, Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, and UGas Inc.

Eddie A Giesing added Missouri Retailers Association.

Michael David Grote added Western Governors University.

Rodney R Hubbard added Best Friends Animal Society.

Don Senti added EducationPlus, and deleted Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis.

Michael E Ryno deleted Link Jefferson City.

$5K+ Contributions

Missouri Farmers Care - $15,000 from MFA Inc.

Missouri Farmers Care - $8,000 from FCS Financial.

Missouri Farmers Care - $8,000 from Missouri Cattleman’s PAC.

Missouri Farmers Care - $8,000 from Missouri Pork Association.

Fuller 4 U City - $5,300 from Professional firefighters Central St. Louis PAC.

MO Beverage PAC - $5,223 from Pepsi Beverages Company of St. Louis.

MO Republican Party - $7,500 from AT&T.

Birthdays

Happy birthday to fundraiser Matt Lieberman (35).