Friday, March 1, 2013

PSC Bits

As Kevin Gunn exits today, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some flurry of activity on the Public Service Commission front.  This would include an elevation of Robert Kenney to the chairman’s spot.  And a replacement appointment named for Gunn.  We’ll see…



Shane for ED

On the heels of yesterday’s news that Shane Schoeller was tapped as Missouri Republican Party executive director, the reaction was generally positive.  But – as in any family – there were some sniping detractors.


A sample: “You have a chairman who has no idea how to win races, and now an executive director who lost but should have won… Good thing they nothing to do with Reps and State Senators…”



No Consensus GOP Candidate in Senate 22?

One Republican poo-pooed my suggestion that Rep. Paul Wieland was cued up to take on Rep. Jeff Roorda in Senate 22.  That’s far from decided, he said, mentioning Rep. John McCaherty and Jefferson County Executive Ken Waller, with the possibility of others as well.



House Passes Employment Discrimination Bill

The House passed the employment discrimination bill yesterday.  It was a largely party-line vote, but the defection of several Republicans bodes ill for the House’s ability to override a gubernatorial veto.


That prospect will probably be the central factor as the Senate addresses the bill.  The Democrats will maintain that Republicans will need to compromise with them – or face a veto which can’t be sustains and gets them nothing.


Republicans Crossing Over To Vote No

Reps. TJ Berry, Eli Haahr, Nick Marshall, John McCaherty, Myron Neth, Ron Schieber, Sheila Solon, and Noel Torpey.



Dempsey for Drivers

Pro Tem Tom Dempsey presented his bill to reduce “excessive fees on speed traps” to the Transportation Committee.   See it here.


Right now, if a city receives more than 35% of its annual general operating revenue from traffic fines and court costs for traffic violations occurring on state highways within its jurisdiction, all revenues in excess of the 35% threshold must be sent to the Department of Revenue.  Dempsey’s bill lowers that threshold to 20%.



Senate Passes Tax Credit Bill

The Senate passed out the tax credit bill – which has a few new tax credits as well as deep cuts to the largest existing programs for historic preservation and low income housing.


Many of those who voted against the bill are optimistic that their concerns will be addressed by the House, and there seems ample reason for such optimism.


One philosophical reason mentioned in the House to oppose this tax credit bill with a positive fiscal note is that it represents a raising of taxes – if only by subtracting the credits.  And of course, raising taxes is a no-no.


But House members making that argument will have to limber enough to hold that position while also supporting the new one-cent sales tax for transportation, a possible new surcharge from utilities companies and the fresh issuance of debt to pay-off for the next twenty years for roads.  Such a multifaceted position can definitely be maintained.  It just requires a little dogmatic gymnastics.


Those Voting Against The Tax Credit Bill in the Senate

A few different reasons among these seven for voting No:  Sens. Kiki Curls, Joe Keaveny, Brad Lager, John Lamping, Ryan McKenna, Jamilah Nasheed, and Kurt Schaefer.




Thursday was the last day for introducing bills in the Senate.



Media Shuffle

Missouri News Horizon is… gone.  Office shuttered as of today.  With that, Dick Aldrich, MO Hozion’s capitol chief, is headed to AIM to become their communications director.


And, Eli Yokley starts today as managing editor at Missouri Times.



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Joseph P Bednar Jr added Crossland Heavy Contractors Inc., and Crossland Construction Company Inc.

Dennis Daniel Carrigan Jr added Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.

Lowell D Pearson added Husch Blackwell LLP, and Uniform Law Commission.

Polsinelli deleted Amerigroup Corporation.

Andrew B Blunt and Jay Reichard deleted Xerox Business Services.



$5K+ Contributions

United Food & Commercial Workers Local #655 Elect Political Action Fund - $6,471 from United Food & Commercial Workers Local #655.


Civic Progress Action Committee - $20,000 from AT&T.




Happy birthday to Harry Gallagher!


Saturday: Greg Harrison (65).


Sunday: John Hancock (49) and Heath Clarkson.