Thursday, April 4, 2013

Senate Perfects SB112

The Senate worked late into the night yesterday to prefect Sen. Scott Rupp’s SB 112 which would renew the New Markets tax credits.

Much of the drama centered around Sen. Jolie Justus’s attempt to add her angel investment tax credit to the bill.  Rupp was successful in keeping his bill “clean” without it, even though the Senate has already separately passed the investor credit.  Jolie actually pulled some crossover Republican votes – Sens. Bob Dixon, David Pearce, Gary Romine, Rob Schaaf, Kurt Schaefer, Ryan Silvey and Wayne Wallingford.  But she also failed to secure some Dems (Sens. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, and Jamilah Nasheed, with Sen. Ryan McKenna absent) and lost the vote.

Medicaid Moves

Rep. Jay Barnes moved his HB 700 “Medicaid Transformation” bill out of his Government Accountability Committee.  The vote was 7-2.  Republican Rep. Mark Parkinson called it the equivalent of ObamaCare (see the quote here in KWMU’s story), while Democratic Rep. Kevin McManus voted against because it didn’t have the full coverage promised under ObamaCare.  But between these two poles, the rest of the committee voted in favor of the bill.

And

The NYTimes opines on the possibility of using private insurance – paid by the federal ObamaCare dollars – to expand coverage.  Basically they say it’s not such a bad idea, even if they’re naturally skeptical because it’s a Republican idea.  Read it here.

Nixon: Missouri Medicaid Expansion “Different” Than Washinton’s

Governor Jay Nixon’s statement after meeting with House Republicans: “I appreciate the House leadership for facilitating an open and honest discussion. With the House currently considering a Medicaid bill that would implement significant reforms, today’s meeting was an opportunity to discuss these and other ideas for making our health system more efficient and effective.  Here in Missouri we do things differently than they do in Washington, and how we approach health care should be no exception.  Medicaid reform the Missouri way will protect taxpayers, reward work, promote personal responsibility and bring the tax dollars Missourians send to Washington back to work here in Missouri.”

New Medicaid Expansion Supporters

More chambers of commerce continue to come on board with Medicaid expansion.  Here are the latest: Albany Chamber of Commerce, Bolivar Chamber of Commerce, Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, Carrollton Area Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development Council, Clinton Chamber of Commerce, Eldon Chamber of Commerce, Hermann Area Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City, Lake West Chamber of Commerce, Marshall Chamber of Commerce, Marshall-Saline Development Corporation, Mid America Regional Council (Kansas City), Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce, Nevada/Vernon County Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council, Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Ripley County Chamber of Commerce, St. Charles Chamber of Commerce, and Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce.

St. Charles’ chamber is clearly the biggest of these.  But the list shows the breadth of geographic support.

And

The Central Missouri and Lincoln University Chapters of Missouri Association for Social Welfare (MASW) will host a forum on Monday, April 8, 6:30-8 p.m.  “The Big Question: Should Medicaid Be Expanded in Missouri?”

On the panel will be Missouri House and Senate Leaders who have filed Medicaid Expansion or Transformation bills including: Sen. Mike Parson (R-Bolivar), invited; Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis), confirmed; Rep. Jake Hummel (D-St. Louis), confirmed; Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City), confirmed.

Bonding Bill Scare

Apparently freshman Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick read the bonding bill, and was mildly frightened by the language in the bill which empowers an unelected official to levy a statewide property tax if the state revenues are deemed light to meet the commitment of the bonds.  He offered an amendment to strike the language at yesterday’s Budget Committee.  He was talked down, and withdrew the amendment, when told that it was typical language to give the bonds the “general obligation” status.

The Language

4. If at any time after the issuance of any of the bonds, it shall become apparent to the commissioner of administration that the funds available in the state general revenue fund will not be sufficient for the payment of the sinking fund and interest on outstanding obligations of the state and the principal and interest maturing and accruing on the bonds during the following fiscal year, a direct tax shall be levied upon all taxable tangible property in the state for the payment of such bonds and the interest that will accrue thereon. In such event, it shall be the duty of the commissioner of administration annually, on or before the first day of July, to determine the rate of taxation necessary to be levied upon all taxable tangible property within the state to raise the amount of money needed to pay the principal of and interest on such bonds maturing and accruing in the following fiscal year, taking into consideration available funds, delinquencies and costs of collection…  See it here.

North Kansas City Hospital Sale

Lobbyist continue to pile come abroad to fight against Sen. Ryan Silvey and Rep. Jay Swearingen’s bill to let the people vote on the fate of the North Kansas City Hospital.

Now the list of registered lobbyists for North Kansas City are: Mike Grote, Jim Farrell, Phil LeVota, Michael Cargnel and Bryan Pratt.  This is former Rep. Pratt’s first foray into lobbying since his political career ended (or paused).

And

The incumbent Mayor who spearheaded this process got 14% of the vote Tuesday night. He came in 3rd, with one observer calling the continuing saga of the NKC hospital the campaign’s only major issue.

ISRS Dead or Alive?

In the “is ISRS dead?” debate, opponents point to a News Tribune article from last week by Bob Watson in which Pro Tem Tom Dempsey is quoted sounding skeptical about its future…

“I'm not certain we're going to be able to move forward with it, frankly,” Dempsey, R St. Charles, told reporters Thursday afternoon. “But we're still talking about it.”

No Scorched Earth

And farther, they dispute the image that they’re engaged in a “scorched earth” strategy.  The FERAF position is that a compromise is available if the investor owned utilities would adopt their calls for stronger consumer protections.

Librarians Contra Kander

The Missouri Library Association has written a letter in response to Secretary of State Jason Kander’s recent decision to eliminate 13 positions from the Missouri State Library.

Excerpt from the Letter

These reductions reflect a 55% and 43% decrease of the workforce within the Reference and Library Development Divisions, respectively. These staffing cuts will dramatically impact the ability of the State Library to provide service to Missouri libraries, state employees, and legislators…

We would also appreciate a better understanding of how your office came to this decision. Did you, for example, consult with the directors and trustees of the State Library’s constituent libraries, to solicit their comments and ideas on how to reconfigure the State Library to better support public library services? Did you seek advice, input, and recommendations from the Secretary of State's Library Advisory Council? Did you contract with an outside library consultant to undertake an extensive study and make strategic recommendations on the best way to consolidate, eliminate outdated or underused services, and to identify priority services?...

The primary mission of the Reference Services Division, for example, is to provide Missouri state employees, including legislators, access to research tools such as online journals, a collection of over 80,000 e-books, print materials, and a digital library of Missouri state government publications. The Reference Services Division also provides core services for state employees and legislators that include research assistance, free training on information resources, and Keeping Up, a news clipping service. Missouri employees dependent upon these research tools may not be immediately aware of the direct impact these staffing cuts will have on essential state information services, but they undoubtedly will soon after they go into effect. A reduction of electronic resources and staff will result in an underserved state government…

Staffing cuts at the State Library undermine the work of all state agencies, legislators, and public, school, and academic libraries in Missouri…

Regards,

Carol Smith, Missouri Library Association President

Associate Professor, University of Central Missouri

Nixon to Lead MOBIO to Chicago

“MOBIO is pleased to announce that Governor Jay Nixon will be leading the Missouri delegation to the BIO International Convention in Chicago… The governor will be our distinguished guest and keynote  speaker for MOBIO's Governor’s Breakfast at BIO, taking place at  the University Club of  Chicago on Tuesday, April 23rd.”

Obama on Gun Control

“It’s now been just over 100 days since the murder of 20 innocent children and six brave educators in Newtown, Connecticut shocked this country into doing something to protect our kids.  But consider this: over those 100 days or so, more than 100 times as many Americans have fallen victim to gun violence. More than 2,000 of our fellow citizens, struck down, often just because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time…”

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

 

Michael Cargnel, and Bryan Pratt added City of North Kansas.

Robert Eric Donaldson added Altria Client Services Inc, and its Affiliates Phillip Morris USA…

Matthew S Ruge added Missouri Independent Bankers Association Inc.

Caitlin Whitworth added Ozarks Community Hospital.

Michael R Gibbons added Site Advancement Foundation.

$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Community Progress - $6,000 from Tom Atkins.

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Theresa Garza Ruiz.