Monday, February 25, 2013

Clay Versus Musial

When it comes to naming bridges, it’s a once in a generation type opportunity for immortality.  So it should be no surprise that the movement to name the new Mississippi bridge after baseball player Stan Musial has a challenger… William L. Clay.  This explains why Bill Clay’s son, Lacy Clay, has been notably absent from the Musial parade.

 

The Senate has gone in deep for Stan the Man.  There’s bipartisan love from the state’s US Senators as well as cross-river support from Illinois.  However, Rep. Penny Hubbard has taken up the Clay banner with HB591.  And she’ll give it a hearing in her Urban Issues Committee later today.

 

 

Medicaid Trans-expansion?

Post-Dispatch reporter Virginia Young previews the coming Medicaid expansion bill from Rep. Jay Barnes, to be unveiled Tuesday.  Read it here.

 

Pull Quote: “Republican legislators say a system of carrots and sticks could be part of the solution. To encourage patients to make more cost-effective use of medical services, the GOP’s plan is likely to use new federal authority — still in the pipeline — that would allow higher co-payments and premiums.”

 

 

But the most important article to read might be Governing Magazine’s article on the Obamacare “loophole.”  Read it here.

 

Pull Quote:  “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, an outspoken GOP critic of Obamacare, made waves last week when he proposed a unique way of not expanding Medicaid while still expanding insurance coverage, a plan that explicitly exploited this oversight by the law’s authors. This is Walker’s plan: he wants to scale back his state’s Medicaid eligibility for low-income childless adults (the main population that benefits from the expansion) from 200 percent of the poverty line to 100 percent. That way, those under 100 percent are still covered by Medicaid, but those above 100 percent would buy private insurance on the state’s new health insurance marketplace with a federal tax subsidy.

 

“Walker portrayed his plan as a triumph of the private sector over government-run insurance. According to estimates from his office, Medicaid enrollment would drop 37 percent, but nearly as many people would gain insurance as would have if Wisconsin had simply expanded Medicaid as the ACA prescribed (224,520 under Walker’s plan; 252,678 under the law).”

 

 

I expect we’ll see a similar transformation from Barnes’ bill.  Stay tuned…

 

 

SequestHurts

The White House published a list of sequester cuts by state – in addition to the national cuts like customs and border enforcements and the FAA.

 

Here’s Missouri’s list:

Teachers and Schools: Missouri will lose approximately $11.9 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 160 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 17,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 60 fewer schools would receive funding.

 

Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Missouri will lose approximately $10.8 in

funds for about 130 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.

 

Work-Study Jobs: Around 1,280 fewer low income students in Missouri would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 750 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.

 

Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,200 children in Missouri, reducing access to critical early education.

 

Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Missouri would lose about $3,745,000 in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Missouri could lose another $1,184,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.

 

Military Readiness: In Missouri, approximately 8,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $40.3 million in total.

 

Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $56 million in Missouri.

 

Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Missouri would be cut by about $14 million.

 

Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Missouri will lose about $298,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.

 

Job Search Assistance to Help those in Missouri find Employment and Training: Missouri will lose about $758,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 25,460 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.

 

Child Care: Up to 700 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.

 

Vaccines for Children: In Missouri around 2,500 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $171,000.

 

Public Health: Missouri will lose approximately $572,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Missouri will lose about $1,300,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 3300 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Missouri State Department of Health & Senior Services will lose about $211,000 resulting in around 5,300 fewer HIV tests.

 

STOP Violence Against Women Program: Missouri could lose up to $127,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 500 fewer victims being served.

 

Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Missouri would lose approximately $419,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.

 

 

Senate Hearings of Interest

Small Business Committee – Tuesday 1pm, SCR1

SB115 (Schmitt) – to dissolve the Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company.

 

General Laws Committee – Tuesday 3pm, SCR1

Nieves bills including the continuing crusade against the Capitol press’ parking lot.

 

Economic Development Committee – Wednesday 1pm, Senate Lounge

New Markets tax credits, and SB216 (Silvey) reversing Luann Ridgeway’s staunch prohibition on KCPD’s political activity.

 

Education Committee – Wednesday 3pm, Senate Lounge

SB132 & SB133 (Keaveny) – Allows school districts to receive state aid for children ages three to five participating in a district-operated pre-kindergarten program.

 

 

House Hearings of Interest

Government Oversight and Accountability Committee – Monday, Noon, HR7

Minority Leader Jake Hummel’s HB 627 – to expand Medicaid.

 

Local Government Committee – Monday, 1pm, HR5

Transient guest taxes for various cities.

Transportation Committee – Tuesday Noon, HR7

Transportation sales tax, and HB472 (Rhoads) to increases membership of the Highways and Transportation Commission to seven commissioners and requires new appointees to be residents of different Department of Transportation geographic districts.

 

Economic Development Committee – Tuesday 5pm, HR7

Freight Line tax credit.

 

Ways and Means Committee – Tuesday 5pm, HR1

Streamlined Sales Tax bills

Utilities Committee – Wednesday 8am, HR7

HB 398 – Infrastructure Replacement Costs.

 

Workforce Development Committee – Wednesday 8am, HR5

HB 409 – Prevailing Wages. Changes the laws regarding the prevailing hourly rate of wages in third classification counties.

 

Budget            Committee – Wednesday, Upon Morning Adjournment, HR3

Recommendations from Appropriation Committees

 

Special Standing Committee on Emerging Issues in Health Care Committee – Wednesday 4pm, HR3

Medical malpractice bills.

 

 

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

 

Richard M Aubuchon, Rodney Gray, Tami Holliday, Susan Moore, Michael Moorefield added Hy-Vee Inc.

Judy A Bass added United Healthcare Services Inc.

Alexander B Curchin added Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

 

 

$5K+ Contributions

Slay for Mayor - $20,000 from Gregory Wendt.

Missourians for Koster - $25,000 from UAW Region 5 PAC.

Committee to Elect Reed - $10,000 from CHIPP Political Account.

Committee to Elect Reed - $10,000 from Robert Romanik.

 

 

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Judge Rob Mayer (56).