Monday, May 6, 2013

Where We Are

Two weeks… budget gets priority as it’s due to the governor’s desk by Friday.  But it’s also a critical week to get other bills in position to be passed next week. 

Time is a critical player now – especially on the Senate side where floor time becomes a precious commodity.

I will say – and others will say – that such-and-such bill is dead.  Remember: nothing is dead until May 17.  Here’s where some of the higher profile items appear to stand…

Medicaid Expansion – Dead.

Workers Comp / Second Injury Fund – I think this issue has come too far, and is too close for the different sides to rip apart now.  It’s fragile, but if adults show up at the conference committee, there’ll be a report.  Then it’s show time for the Senate to pass it again, and the House understand something is never everything.  I think the governor will have something to sign (or veto!). 

ISRS – With floor time becoming a coveted item, it’s hard to see the Senate spending it on electric ISRS without a deal in place to ease its passage.

Prevailing Wage – The Senate compromise is sitting in the House.  I think they either pick it up and pass it, or they don’t pass anything. 

Teacher Evaluations – House Republicans would like to return Sen. Jamilah Nasheed’s SB 125 to her.  So it’s likely they strip down their ambitions and find something they can pass to send it back to the Senate.

Global Tax Credit Deal – no global tax credit deal in the works.  House leadership is interested in piecemeal, incremental changes.  It’s possible that the Senate will accept this approach since the retirement of all-or-nothing hawks Jason Crowell and Chuck Purgason.  We’ll see…  If that path is opened then data centers, angel investors, even distressed land extension have a shot, though probably not all.

Sales Tax for Transportation – The House will add a tax cut to the tax increase, and send it back to the Senate.  That moves the ball forward, but it becomes problematic with Democrats.  They were already skeptical about the urban areas funding more rural roads.  Adding the tax swap (income tax cut replaced by sales tax increase) will raise their Rex antennae and increase the likelihood of a lot of floor time.

Bond Issuance for Education – Headed for a House vote this week.  It seems a little late to be just getting out of the House.  That’d be in line with the talk that this is a “two-year” issue.  Getting it out of one chamber this session, and then push it out early next year.  But bonding is also a billion-dollar idea, so you never know.  There’s a long-shot that the juice comes in strong and surprises everyone…

 

A Word About Conference Committees

The odd asymmetrical conference committees are a concoction from House Republican leadership at the beginning of session that reportedly was worried that Senate Republicans might align themselves with House Dems in conference.  By only assigning three House members to conference (two Republicans and one Democrat), the requirement that the report is signed by two members from each chamber practically yields the House Dems irrelevant, assuming the speaker appoints loyalists.

Mind you all these machinations occur while rhetoric still streams from leadership about working with the Senate and working with the minority party…

Bits

Senate convenes with a little earlier start today at 1:30PM, but the action starts in the morning with budget conference committee at 10AM.

Department of Social Services seeks a staff attorney.  See it here.

Rep. Holly Rehder explains why she’s off the Bipartisan Freshman Issue Development Committee. “I just wanted to give you a heads up I requested to be removed because I've only been able to make it to the tail end of the first meeting. I didn't think it was fair to keep me listed since I wasn't contributing anything.”

Post-Dispatch’s Virginia Young reports today on a bill to allow casino’s to offer lines of credit to gamblers.  Read it here.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Travis Brown, David Jackson and Dave Berry added Major Brands Premium Beverage Distributors.

Sarah Wood Martin added Wood Martin LLC.

                       

$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for Koster - $50,000 from UA Political Education Committee.

AGC-MO-PAC - $10,165 from Snyder Construction Company.