Monday, March 11, 2013

Labor Issues in House This Week?

It’s expected that the House will have a busy week.  One rumor is that they will schedule a technical session for Thursday, thus the first three days (and nights) will be jammed as they try to push through their priorities before spring break (and MOScout’s legislative grades of course).


In particular, two Democratic sources indicated some rumblings that anti-labor bills may be among those headed for a vote.  This is counterintuitive as they would be “tough votes” for some Republicans.  And without the necessary numbers to override a gubernatorial veto the practical gain from putting prevailing wage and other issues to a vote is immaterial.


However, Speaker Tim Jones may want to demonstrate that he is resolute in advancing the Republican ideological agenda.  And it would put the “labor issues” ball firmly in the Senate’s court.  Furthermore, abandoning the illusion of a veto-override majority, leadership will “cut loose” Republicans with districts that lean Democratic on the issue.



Deal or No Deal

Missourinet put out a piece which caused a stir over the weekend.  See it here.  The final sentence gave organized labor the spooks: “Senate floor leader Ron Richard says (Sen. Dan) Brown has been negotiating with a Democrat senator, and he thinks a compromise is in the works that can be passed without a lot of trouble this week.”


No so, fired back labor representatives in emails and over twitter.  “There was no meeting of minds with public sector unions… Labor’s position is there is no deal.”



More on ISRS Sit-Down

Last week I wrote about an unprecedented face-to-face sit-down between the heads of Ameren and Noranda.  Following that report, I’ve been given more details surrounding the meeting.


According to this source, the initial invitation for the “summit” came from House Utility Chair Doug Funderburk.  He invited Ameren’s Warner Baxter and Noranda’s Kip Smith to his office roughly four weeks.  The first meeting didn’t happen and the second on was called off.  Then, last week, a planned 9:30 am meeting was scuttled as well, but it was rescheduled for 2 pm.


The only people invited to this meeting were Baxter and Smith.  There were to be no “seconds,” no lawyers, lobbyists, no CPAs, MBAs or other big whigs, just the two captains of industry and the on committee chair.


Funderburk’s goal in this was to have an open dialogue and to identify the differences between the two sides.  Therefore, there were to be no deals made during the session.  Each side would have the ability to gather counsel and mull whatever was discussed.


Funderburk proposed three items.  First, more stringent consumer protections into the ISRS portion of the bill; second, an allocation method that better recognizes the infrastructure investments made by both the Investor Owned Utilities as well as the industrial users; and changes to address concerns with the “tracker.”  Futhermore, any decision items without agreed to solutions will ultimately be policy decision made by the Utilities Committee.


According to this source, Floor Leader John Diehl offered a week ago to sit in the meeting, but was rebuffed by Funderburk because it wasn’t what Baxter and Smith had agreed to.  Funderburk and Diehl agreed that Diehl would come in at the beginning to say a few words and then excuse himself.


However prior to the start of the meeting Baxter was in Diehl’s office, and his LA called Funderburk’s office (where Smith and Funerburk were waiting for Baxter) and told them to come to Diehl’s office which is where the meeting took place.  Diehl stayed through the meeting as Baxter, Smith and Funderburk worked through each issue.  The meeting ended on a positive note, and there is optimism and clarity on how to move forward.



Jones Fundy “Basically Sold Out”

Expect another packed room at Speaker Tim Jones’ annual fundraiser at the Ritz Carlton in Clayton next week.  It’s expected to raise about $30K with most of the St. Louis region’s biggest businesses represented.  One assumes that most, if not all, of the attendees know that their contributions are not really just for “speaker” Tim Jones, but really it’s an early ticket to the Jones 2016 show.



MOBIO Day Coming

MOBIO’s Life Sciences Day at the Capitol is set for Tuesday March 26. The day will begin with a lunch featuring Tara Ryan, Deputy Vice President, State Policy at PhRMA as our luncheon speaker. After an afternoon of Capitol office visits, and leadership briefings, they’ll end with an evening reception at the G2 Gallery on High Street.



Follow-up on Treasurer Pearce

According to the Missouri Ethics Commission’s website, Sen. David Pearce filed an amended statement of committee organization for a statewide office for the 2016 election...



Senate Hearings of Interest

Appropriations Committee, Tuesday 8:30am, SCR2

SB 350 (Tom Dempsey) would eliminate renter’s portion of the circuit breaker tax credit, and instead using the money to create a “senior services protection fund.”


Appropriations Committee, Tuesday 30 Minutes After Morning Adjournment, SCR2

HCS HB 14 – Supplemental budget.


Commerce Committee, Tuesday 3pm, Senate Lounge

SB 365 (Mike Parson) looks like a return to last year’s contentious alcohol franchise issue.


General Laws Committee, Tuesday 3pm, SCR1

Three Brian Nieves bills including SB 267 specifying “how courts may rule…” and SB 272 demarcating “the authority of the federal government” with respect to gun laws.


Appropriations Committee, Wednesday 30 Minutes After Morning Adjournment, SCR2

SB 349 – LeVota’s Medicaid expansion.



House Hearings of Interest

Budget Committee, Monday Noon, HR3

Review of the budget bills before voting them out later in the week.


Appropriations - Infrastructure and Job Creation Committee, Tuesday 8am, HR3

Time to vote out the big bonding program?


Fiscal Review  Committee, Tuesday 8:30am, South Gallery

Benevolent tax credits and sporting events tax credits.


Small Business Committee, Tuesday 9:30am, South Gallery

Sen. Mike Kehoe’s SB 182, motor vehicle sales tax fix.


Budget Committee, Wednesday Upon Morning Adjournment, HR3

The budget bills.




Despite the talk of Tea Party/copper Gary Wiegert lobbying for marijuana legalization (see it here, thanks John Combest), he still hasn’t registered Show Me Cannabis as a client.



The Hill has a story on a new fee from the Affordable Care Act.  Centene’s Jonathon Dinesman is quoted.  See it here.



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Brian Schmidt added Missouri Wonk LLC.

Ward W. Cook added Liberty Memorial Association; and deleted Missouri I-49 Coalition, City of Grandview, and A Safer Missouri.

LeRoy Grant, Jr. added Redbird Carriers.

William E Shoehigh added Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P.

Douglas M Ommen added Missouri Insurance Coalition.

Jim Moody and Chris Moody deleted Public Communication Services.

Richard I. Martin added MWW Group, CarMax, IGPS Company LLC.

Jeffery N Brooks deleted Enterprise Holdings Inc, and City of Fenton.

Richard A McIntosh, David McCracken, Francis Flotron, Zach Brunert, and Kent Gaines added American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence Inc.

Brian Bernskoetter and Randy Scherr added Central Plain Cement Company; and deleted Lafarge Corporation.

Jewell D. H. Patek added Major Brands Premium Beverage Distributors; and deleted Star Development Corp, Medical Holdings Limited, and Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Jorgen Schlemeier added Care Management Technologies.

Richard A McIntosh added Morphotrust USA.

Jorgen Schlemeier, Jeff Brooks, Sarah Topp, Bill Gamble, and Cynthia Gamble added BioSTL, and MO Coalition for Lifesaving Cures; and deleted Martin Anbari, Goff Public, and Sallie Mae.



$5K+ Contributions

Continue to Care Committee - $120,000 from Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City

Missourians for Koster - $10,000 from David Steward.

Committee to Elect Reed - $8,500 from International Associationof Firefighters Local #73 PAC.

Committee to Elect Reed - $7,500 from Molina Healthcare Inc.

Committee to Elect Reed - $10,000 from Timothy Rand.