Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Jones for HB 700?

Speaker Tim Jones appears to offer a qualified endorsement of Rep. Jay Barnes’ Medicaid expansion/transformation bill in his latest blog post.  See it here.

“House Republicans are currently exploring a market-based, transformative approach to Medicaid. It incorporates many of the components listed above. The bill, HB 700, sponsored by Rep. Jay Barnes would move private insurers into a position of greater competition to provide coverage for low-income Missourians. It would empower Missourians, turning recipients into participants who actively make health care decisions and not wait until their health care needs require the emergency room. This system has the potential to vastly improve quality of care while containing costs and reaffirming Medicaid’s role as a true safety net. HB 700 is not the final solution to the Medicaid crisis, but it is a solid starting point….”

And

The Joplin Globe endorses Medicaid expansion… Read it here.

Nixon and the GOP Senate Caucus

Reports from Jay Nixon’s meeting with the Republican Senate Caucus indicate no changed hearts on the issue of Medicaid expansion.  One observer described Nixon as looking nervous and quick to fill any uncomfortable silences.   The senators asked Nixon to call the state’s congressional delegation and push for continued DSH payments.  Nixon demurred, but said he would fight for waivers to help a Barnes-esque plan win implementation.

This Morning

Senate Appropriations Committee returns to their budget work at 8:30AM.  There was some talk around the building that the Senate would add in Governor Jay Nixon’s line item for federal funds consistent with Medicaid expansion in HB 11.  One source close to the committee says the “chances of that happening are -5%.” 

The Appropriations Committee may get snagged on HB 4 as Chair Kurt Schaefer will likely use the budget process to seek answers to his questions surrounding the Department of Revenue and their sharing of personal information.

And the Senate’s Gubernatorial Appointments Committee will meet this morning at 8:30AM as well. “Gubbys” hasn’t met in what feels like months.  Word is that Senate leadership shut down the committee when Floor Leader Ron Richard and Nixon clashed over appointments to the Missouri Southern State University Board of Governors.  Gubbys meets today, but the list is so innocuous that it may just be window dressing.  Or maybe a deal has finally been reached.  We’ll see… 

However one Senate source predicts that the Senate will attack Nixon’s “acting directors” soon.  Nixon has circumvented the confirmation process by inserting the title “acting” in front of his department heads.  Many of them have been “acting” for quite a while and the Senate is poised to confront Nixon on the practice.

Westinghouse to Press for ISRS

Look for Kate Marx in the building today, meeting with legislators.  She’s Westinghouse’s Senior Consultant for Business and she’ll be showing their support for ISRS.  In Marx’s hands with be handouts touting Westinghouse’s position on the bill…

“Westinghouse Electric Company is a strategic partner with all of Missouri’s electric utilities through the Missouri Electric Alliance. We formed this partnership to advance Small Modular Reactor technology and make Missouri a hub for SMR manufacturing. Westinghouse plans to submit an application to the federal Department of Energy under a cost-sharing agreement for the development of Small Modular Reactors.

“Westinghouse supports SB 207 and HB 398 allowing Missouri’s electric service providers to modernize aging electric infrastructure and develop a state-of-the-art energy grid so Missouri businesses and industry can compete effectively in the global economy.”

The hand-out also notes that Westinghouse CEO Danny Roderick grew up in Houston, Missouri, and lists among ISRS’ benefits as creating jobs and streamlining regulations.

Koster and Who for Gov

When I wrote – on the news that Clint Zweifel had bowed out – that Attorney General Chris Koster was now the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, I received a little pushback.  One observer suggested that the field was not closed yet, and remarked that Robin Carnahan, or someone else, could always enter the race.

Another Democratic activist expressed what was once a comment sentiment among rank-and-file and still exists to some extent:  “A lot of us democrats are not happy with Koster. We think he's a DINO.”

Follow-up on Issue Development

In the wake of yesterday’s KC Star’s article about the House’s “issue development” committees being used to weaken transparency in lobbyists’ gifts, there was quite a bit of talk about the committees.   One person noted that Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith is no longer listed in the Leadership for Missouri Issue Development Committee, and wondered if he thought it best to steer clear of it given his congressional campaign.  

And a few Democratic Reps remarked that the new “Freshman Bipartisan Issue Development” Committee included some Reps who claimed they were added to the committee without being asked.  Those names may be coming off soon.  We’ll see….

Senate 2

Former state representative Bob Onder is being mentioned as considering a bid for Scott Rupp’s senate seat in 2014.  He’d join Rep. Chuck Gatscheberger and maybe former Rep. Vicki Schneider.   One observer thinks that there’s no reason that the field would stop there, and it could become a true free-for-all.

Bits

Build-a-Bear founder Maxine Clark invests in an education start-up, a jobs portal called myEDmatch.com. Read it here.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled yesterday (the same day I wondered aloud if they would ever rule) in favor of Paul McKeeRead the ruling here.    

And the land assemblage tax credit was added to the House’s omnibus tax credit bill last night in EcoDevo Committee.  However one observer wondered if the House was loading up their bill in preparation for negotiations with the Senate.  Adding items they might be willing to part with – for a price.

The NYTimes has a leaked proposal in which the American Conservative Union hawks their support.  Read it here.  “The documents shed light on a rarely public corner of Washington lobbying, where industry lobbyists join with grass-roots groups that offer ideological credibility and deep mailing lists of sympathetic activists — sometimes for a price.”                                                                                                      

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Jerry W Burch added Missouri Optometric Association.

John C. Cozad added City of North Kansas City.

Bennie Lewis added The Black Economic Union of Greater Kansas City.

$5K+ Contributions

Lewis & Clark Regional Leadership Forum - $6,000 from McEagle Properties.

Lewis & Clark Regional Leadership Forum - $12,000 from Bank of Washington.

Lewis & Clark Regional Leadership Forum - $6,000 from Meyer Group.

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former Rep. Judy Baker (53).