Senate Pre-filed Bill to Watch
SB1 – Scott Rupp – Second Injury Fund fix. See summary here.
SB4 – Brad Lager – Slows revolving door by creating a two-year wait period before lawmakers can register as lobbyists. May be part of broader “ethics reform” discussion. See text here.
SB6 – Brad Lager – Utility pole wrangling continues. See summary here.
SB22 – Bob Dixon – circuit court redistricting. See summary here.
SB61 – Joe Keaveny – looks at costs for death penalty. See summary here.
SB64 – Bob Dixon – medical malpractice reform. See summary here.
SB68 – Mike Parson – changes prevail wage definition for third class counties. See summary here.
SJR1 – Brad Lager – constitutional amendment for tort reform. See summary here.
Ameren Wins Rate Increase
The Public Service Commission approved a $260 million rate increase for Ameren. FERAF immediately issued a statement saying that Ameren was raising “rates on Missourians for the fifth time in six years. This rate hike means that Ameren has now raised rates about $1 Billion over the past six years.”
PSC Chair Kevin Gunn notes that the Commission has statutory requirement to allow Ameren to pass along a lot of their costs. Furthermore he noted that the Commission lowered Ameren’s return on equity to 9.8%. (Ameren had requested an ROE of 10.5%). The Commission has lowered Ameren’s ROE about a full point over the course of the last several years. But Commissioner Robert Kenney argued in the article that because Ameren faces less risk its ROE should be even lower.
St. Louis Bits
We’re still waiting on a call for a special election in the vacant House 76 seat where Chris Carter left to become an alderman. One possible replacement is former alderwoman Sharon Tyus. She’s a lawyer who was in the middle of St. Louis’ messy redistricting process a decade ago. Tyus’ ward was dismantled, creating a backlash among African American aldermen. Tyus isn’t thought to be Carter’s favored candidate, but in the words of one St. Louis politico, “the Carter family no longer has a vote or voice on 76th District Legislative Committee or Central Committee.”
Former state representative candidate Martin Casas was elected to the Board of Directors for the Hispanic Leaders Group of St. Louis.
Mayor Francis Slay issued an executive order which extended the city’s workforce diversity goals –25 percent minorities, 5 percent women, 20 percent city residents and 15 percent apprentices – to projects receiving TIF funds. Read it here.
For the voter wonks…. here are the November election results for St. Louis County broken down by districts and townships. (I may delve into this over the weekend)
Former speaker Rod Jetton’s Missouri Times will begin publishing January 9. Virginia Young has the story. Read it here.
A story making the rounds yesterday was that the Kansas City Star has told two reporters that one of them would have to be laid off – and for them to decide! Read it here. That brought this response from a long-time media observer: “Part of the intangible power of the press has been that politicians and other scalawags knew the tough, unrelenting reporters on their trails if not their tails had tough, unrelenting editors and news organizations backing them up and providing job security to those who reported fairly and without fear or favor. Today the pols and scalawags chuckle at craven newspaper executives who cannot even make a decision on a firing - oh, excuse me, on a "force reduction." Do any Star reporters think the paper has their back these days for anything other than knife-tossing practice?”
And the Nevada Daily Mail is hiring. “We’re located in southwest Missouri, within easy driving distance of Joplin and Kansas City. We’re part of Rust Communications, a family-owned information company committed to serving our communities.” See ad here.
AP reports on a study that the number of Missouri wineries has tripled in the last twelve years. “Fabio Chaddad is an assistant professor of agricultural economics. His research on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows Missouri had 108, mostly small wineries last year, compared with just 31 wineries in 2000.” Read it here.
The Missouri Hospital Association says that Missouri hospitals provided over a $1 billion in “charity care” during 2011. Read it here. This is important in the discussion of expanding Medicaid because if these patients were covered by Medicaid the hospital could recoup some costs.
From the Pelopidas website:
Rodney Boyd, Brian Grace, and Kelvin Simmons added Swope Community Enterprises.
F Paul Calamita added Association of Missouri Cleanwater Agencies.
Katherine Fox added Freedom of the Road Riders Inc.
Katie Smith added Cargill.
Amy Blunt deleted Alphapointe.
Thomas J Campbell deleted The Paradies Shops.
Jessica Hodge deleted Prestige Powers, Ferguson Consulting, Composting and Organics Association of Missouri, and St. Louis Composting.
Vivian L Murphy deleted Missouri Juvenile Justice Association.
Civic Progress Action Committee - $50,000 from Emerson Electric Co.
Civic Progress Action Committee - $20,000 from Washington University in St. Louis.
Civic Progress Action Committee – $20,000 from BJC HealthCare.
Happy birthday to Gary Fuhr (65) and Curt Dougherty (56)
Friday: Cheryl Dillard.
Saturday: Ric Telthorst.