Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jolie’s Nondiscrimination Victory

On the final day of session, Sen. Jolie Justus was able to get a ban on discrimination against sexual orientation passed in the Senate.  

Voting in favor were all the Democrats, plus Republican Sens. Tom Dempsey, Mike Kehoe, Mike Parson, David Pearce, Gary Romine, David Sater, Rob Schaaf, Ryan Silvey and Wayne Wallingford.

Sens. Dan Brown, Mike Cunningham Ed Emery, Will Kraus, Brad Lager, John Lamping, Doug Libla, Brian Munzlinger, Brian Nieves, Ron Richard and Jay Wasson were opposed.   And Sens. Bob Dixon, Scott Rupp, Kurt Schaefer and Eric Schmitt were absent.

One imagines the House with its smaller more polarized districts a harder sell when Justus surely returns to the issue next year.  However there will be a few factors working in her favor.

First, any politician will larger aspirations can see that this issue is eventually an 80-20 issue.  If it seems tough now, that’s just a badge of honor (profile in courage, anyone?) that can be worn with pride in ten years. 

And second, the votes of senators will provide some cover, and some inspiration.  House members who wish to replace these senators may take a look at the issue in the wider geography of their future senate district and see that it helps – or at least doesn’t hurt.

Nixon and Healthcare

Yesterday Governor Jay Nixon announced that Medicaid expansion was still on his mind. 

The statement: “Over the last six months, I have stood with you in every corner of the state to make the case for seizing this unique opportunity. Together, we built a coalition of more than 200 organizations whose breadth and depth rivaled any in recent memory: medical professionals and law enforcement officers, business leaders and faith groups, Republicans and Democrats all united in support of this cause. With these facts and a growing coalition on our side, momentum will continue to build for strengthening Medicaid in Missouri. Please join me in the coming days, weeks, and months and continue to educate your neighbors, colleagues and elected representatives.  Let them know strengthening Medicaid is the smart business decision that will strengthen our economy.  Let them know that you want your tax dollars spent in your community, not in some other state.  And let them know that making it easier for hundreds of thousands of working Missourians to get basic health care is simply the right thing to do.”

Note

No mention of special session to go after Medicaid expansion.

And

Meanwhile the Post-Dispatch’s Virginia Young has an article outlining turmoil in the Department of Social Services with no explanation from the administration for the sudden turnover.  See it here.

Nalls Exits

Peggy Nalls is leaving Missouri Credit Union Association, retiring at the end of June.  On Facebook she announces, “I leave federal advocacy in the capable hands of Amy McLard and state advocacy with David Kent. John Thomas always had total control of Compliance, so that will continue! Thanks to all of my friends and colleagues working at the Capitol, I'll miss all of you!”

Tax Cut Talk

In Kansas City yesterday Sen. Will Kraus was joined by Rep. T.J. Berry and Sen. Eric Schmitt to tout Kraus’ tax cut bill.  It’s expected that Nixon will veto the bill.

“If signed into law, this legislation would make our state one of the most competitive in the entire country,” Schmitt said.  “Individuals and businesses in Missouri will be able to keep more of what they earn and that will lead to growth in our state.  We need a new path, one based on economic growth and prosperity, and this legislation will help Missouri down that new path.”

eMailbag: The Critics Pan, I Write in Your Defense

“Dave,  Completely agree...  One of the easiest cures is to restrict anyone from donating to elected officials if they get a state contract, tax credit or board or commission appointment.  The campaign limits in theory make sense but the PAC's and multiple entities will work around that pretty quickly. I don't think that anyone wakes up and says this is my day to get a contribution to alter the course.  I think it is inherent in the system and we need to change it quickly before the trust is gone from both sides.  The other logical thing to regain trust is to have a constitutional amendment both statewide and federally that elected officials have to live by whatever they vote for the general public.  Enough is enough of the other people’s money type of syndrome.”

“Nicely done…”

“Great MoScout today…”

“Your post on corruption today was incredible… It is a compelling piece and hope you consider posting it in its entirety to the public.”

“Excellent, Dave. I have long looked for ways to get the influence of money out of Jefferson City politics…”

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Keith Hazelwood added Porlier Outdoor Advertising Co.

Bradley J Ketcher added Hawkeye Land Company.

Deborah Mary Howland deleted The Children’s Place.

$5K+ Contributions

Teamsters Local Union No 688 PAC - $11,375 from DRIVE Committee.

Friends of Tom Schweich - $10,000 from William Holekamp.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Kenny Hulshof (55), Jason Growe (29), and Travis Fitzwater.