Tuesday, May 7, 2013

House Passes Prevailing Wage

Yesterday the House passed prevailing wage reform.  It was the Senate compromise which persuaded Democrats in that chamber to stop their filibuster. 

But on the House floor Rep. Stephen Webber angrily said it was no compromise.  He told supporters of the bill that they were wrong to say that everyone was involved in the compromise.  “House Democrats were not involved in this… an entire caucus was left out of this discussion.”

The bill passed with 93 votes.  Labor folks can take solace that even this “compromise” version doesn’t have enough votes to override a gubernatorial veto.

Indeed, it’s one more indication that in some crucial policy areas, the House Republicans’ electoral victories over the past few cycles have not expanded their working majorities.  In education and labor, they lose caucus members in droves.  Their override majority appears only dependable in the realms of abortions, guns and God.

Franchise War Bits

More lobbying registrations for Major Brands today... one of them is quite surprising… Jay Hahn.  He’s the director of government relations for the Missouri Optometric Association.  What’s he doing lobbying in the liquor franchise battle?  He’s not actually.  But his brother works for Major Brands and discusses the issue with him, so Hahn took the precaution of registering.

And yesterday’s registration of Travis Brown and David Jackson of Pelopidas for Major Brands raised eyebrows from some readers who thought that it ran contrary to their espoused free market philosophy.   It’s said they’ve taken up the cause because – among other things – they “believe in Missouri companies.”

On the other side, the Riverfront Times reports that the barter economy is alive and well… Franc Flotron, David McCracken and Richard McIntosh apparently agreed to lobby for the liquor firm Pinckney Bend Distillery and will be paid in booze.  Read it here.  One former Capitol denizen speculates that this is a sign that Flotron and McIntosh really wanted to be in the mix on this issue, maybe as payback for another issue in years past when Major Brands’ lobbyists bested them?...

One of Major Brand’s new PACs, Missourians for Responsible Liquor Laws, started to run an internet video.  It pits them against the out-of-state liquor companies as David versus Goliath.  See it here.  They used Facebook ads – and perhaps other ads – to drive traffic, and indeed their views in the last 24 hours have gone from scratch to over 35,000 this morning.

Their opponents’ PAC – Missourians for Free Competition – said that they too have started Facebook ads, though I was unable to find them from my computer in downtown Jefferson City.

And

Also using Facebook ads to drive voters to contact legislators is the Consumer Healthcare Products Association which fights efforts to require a prescription for pseudoephedrine.  Their ads click through to here.  It looks like a national campaign that sends browsers to different state pages depending on their IP address.

Why SB1 Happens

There might not be two people in the building who understand how to be reasonable, untangle knotty issues and get things passed than the lead negotiators on SB1, Sen. Scott Rupp and Rep. Todd Richardson

Rupp, now in his final term, has a list of legislative accomplishments that proves this: cyber-bullying, immigration, autism insurance mandate, and redistricting.  Richardson, meanwhile, is just in his second term, but is already a trusted legislator, and is mentioned as a possible floor leader for the House next cycle.

Conferees

Senate: Rupp, Mike Cunningham, Mike Parson, Scott Sifton and Gina Walsh.

House: Richardson, Bill Lant, Stephen Webber.

Senate Debates Common Core

The Senate yesterday debated and perfected Sen. John Lamping’s SB 210 on the heels of renewed publicity about the implementation of common core.

One Senate source said that they received 75 emails on the matter over the weekend, blaming Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro for highlighting the issue.  The odds of passing this bill (which has yet to pass a chamber) seems remote, but it does send a message I suppose.

Leara: Bonding a “No-Brainer”

In his Capitol Update, Rep. Mike Leara touts HJR 14.  “Today, the need for a public works program is great. So is the opportunity for implementing this program at the lowest possible rates. Interest rates are historically low. At 3.3%, they are one-third of what they were in 1982. In fact, these are the best rates this country has seen since the mid-1800s… We have workers across the state ready to get started on massive construction projects. We strive to run this state like a business, and any business would say this is a no-brainer.”

Lembke: Called to Lobby

In a fundraising appeal, former state senator Jim Lembke reflects on his new calling…

“I am amazed at the number of House and Senate members that ask my advice on issues that they deal with on a daily basis.  Although it has been an adjustment for me to effect policy from this new direction, I believe I have been called to this work as if it is a ministry. So again, I am going to boldly ask for your support in my mission to work for constitutional limited government…”

Once More With Feeling

NYTimes today reports that the Republican Party is preparing to run against ObamaCare again in 2014 (same as 2010, and 2012), this time hoping to “exploit every problem that arises. After many unsuccessful efforts to repeal the law, the Republican-led House plans another vote soon. And Republican governors or legislatures in many states are balking at participating, leaving Washington responsible for the marketplaces.”  Read it here.

What it means for Missouri:  Won’t Medicaid expansion be doubly difficult in an election year?

Bits

Rumor of the Day: Carnahan up for ambassadorship appointment.... Which one?  According to this DC source: Tom…

The mighty Jason Rosenbaum interviews former representative Bob Onder who’s positioning to run for Senate 2 in 2014.  See it here.  Spoiler: Brock Olivo is now an assistant coach at Coastal Carolina University.

Hallway observers expect tort reform to come back to the Senate….  Is Floor Leader Ron Richard waiting to see if a deal can be worked out, or does he take it up and stick with it some night?

Secretary of State Jason Kander will keynote the St. Louis New Leaders Council’s 2013 Progressive Future Awards.  See it here.

Tweet of the Day

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed ‏@JamNasheed: “HCS for HB 656 passed tonight 34-0 without any amendments!!! Let me hear you say STRATEGIST! ;-)”

And

If you haven’t read the Missouri Times’ profile of Nasheed’s troubled childhood, it’s as good as a made-for-TV movie… see it here.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

 

Jack Cardetti added Missouri Transportation Alliance.

Daniel R. Pfeifer, Greg Porter and Jay Hahn added Major Brands Premium Beverage Distributors.

$5K+ Contributions

Slay for Mayor - $10,000 from McCormack Baron Salazar.

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

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (61), Sen. Scott Sifton, and Rep. Don Phillips (52).