Thursday, June 6, 2013

Correction on HB 253

As expected Governor Jay Nixon vetoed HB 253.

But in my writing yesterday I got the House vote count wrong, so it bears returning to it.  (I inadvertently looked up the HB253 vote from April, not on the final conference committee report in May. My apologies.)  Reps. Bob Burns and Penny Hubbard were both No votes on the final version of the bill.

It was actually a 103-51 vote in the House.  And while three votes might not seem like much difference, it makes an override a lot more difficult.  Dems who did vote for the final version – and might be persuaded to switch and sustain the governor’s veto – were: Steve Hodges, Jeff Roorda, and Ed Schieffer.

The other complicating factor for the Republican override is the tax hike on prescription drugs.  While there has been a back-and-forth on who’s to blame for that provision being in the bill, the fact is that it was not a well-publicized part of the bill that folks voted for.  Knowing now that it would hit seniors on fixed incomes, may give pause to those who voted for the bill originally.

Prevailing Wage in Play?

It’s said that the prevailing wage deal is being reconsidered, as it’s now realized that Joplin is included in the counties where a different formula for determining prevailing wage could apply.  For those, mostly Kansas City area, crafts that include Joplin in their territory, that is a complication.  It didn’t help that the Senate brought another prevailing wage bill to the floor after the deal was done.  A meeting in Kansas City tomorrow will flesh out whether broad support to keep the deal exists, or whether there will be pressure on Governor Jay Nixon to veto.  Contractor groups as well as labor are involved in the discussion.

Janitors, Not Teachers, Key Issue on SB 125?

With it yet unclear whether Governor Jay Nixon will veto SB 125 – St. Louis City teacher tenure – but the key issue appears the bill’s treatment of other employees in the school, namely janitors.

The biggest point of contention for labor in the St. Louis part of the bill was a provision eliminating LIFO for janitors in St. Louis.  House negotiators say they struck a deal to keep LIFO for janitors in place in return for no “rated” vote on the issue from labor.  But even after they dropped the LIFO, the vote remained rated.  That first SB125 vote went down in flames.  The House came back with a stripped down, less controversial version, and labor wanted to revisit the janitor deal.  But feeling burned, House Republicans declined.  And that’s how we got to where we are.

If Nixon does veto the House appears ready to make a run at an override.  The vote count was 107-49 with several Republicans absent.

Rumorville: Claire Propositions Tishaura

It’s said that Senator Claire McCaskill asked for state representative and St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura Jones to run for state auditor in 2014.  According to this rumor, she politely declined. 

But the rumor hints at a few truths.  First, Democrats are having trouble fielding a candidate for the auditor’s race, with a lot of people looking beyond it to 2016.

Second, McCaskill is taking a much more active role in state politics.

Hall’s Departure an Omen?

Jason Hall who has been the deputy director of the Department of Economic Development announced that he is leaving and will go work for St. Louis Regional Chamber (the rebranded RCGA).  See it here.

Observers worry that the Nixon administration continues to experience a brain drain.  John Fougere in DED is also rumored to be headed to the exit soon as well.  And last month’s chaotic departures at the Department of Social Services rang alarm bells that Nixon’s administration is facing holes faster than they can plug them.

With whispers of “lame duck” already starting, as well as Nixon’s managerial style described as “centralized” among core loyalists from his decade in the attorney general’s office, there’s little enticement for high-shelf talent to join the “team.”

Bits

Joplin tornado documentary wins award.  See it here.

St. Louis alderman seeks donations for daughter’s college tuition.  See it here.

eMailbag: Escalator Pricing

“Dave...I guess I got the wrong invitation to Speaker Jones event...mine says $1,000 per team, $1,500 for tournament sponsorship, and $2,000 breakfast, $2,500 lunch and $5,000 for major event sponsorships.....  Privilege of being a lobbyist.... :)”

$5K+Contributions

United Food & Commercial Workers Local #655 Elect Political Action Fund - $6,300 from United Food &Commerical Workers Local #655.

Go for KC - $15,000 from Kansas Citians for Circo.

Onder for Missouri - $5,001 from James Onder.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Susan Marie Gardner and Matthew S Volkert deleted Curators of the University of Missouri.

Michael David Grote deleted Glazer’s Family of Companies.

James Harris deleted High Ridge Services LLC.

Mark J Rhoads delete Major Brand Premium Beverage Distributors, and Missouri Association of Health Plans.

Michael G Winter deleted Systech International LLC.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays this weekend to…

Friday: Tom Vansaghi (45).

Saturday: Tricia Workman (41), and Trent Skaggs (40).

Sunday: Matthew “Kool-aid” Michelson (32), and Lon Lowrey (65).