Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Senate Perfects Paycheck Protection

The Senate worked until 2:15am to perfect Sen. Dan Brown’s SB 29, “paycheck protection” bill.  The bill prohibits the collection of dues for political contributions from members of public employee unions unless they sign, annually, a consent form.


Springfield News-Leader reporter Jonathon Shorman “live-blogged” the eight-hour debate.  You can find his excellent timeline on the evening/morning here.


The senate substitute can be seen here, and the final negotiated amendment (via Sen. Gary Romine) can be seen here.



The next stop is the House, but one assumes that this bill will be veto-fodder for Governor Jay Nixon.  And unless the House Republicans can achieve near perfect unity on the issue, that means no goal for the GOP.


Last year, the Republican legislature was blanked on labor issues due to their own internal discord, and the veto pen of the Democratic governor.  Could they be looking at another shut-out again this year despite each chamber claiming success by passing measures?  We’ll see….


Tweet of the Filibuster

Travis H. Brown ‏@pelopidas"Seems like @JamNasheed lobbies like #DennisRodman in #NorthKorea sometimes. #MOSEN"


Bond Joins the Utility Wars

Former US Senator Kit Bond registered to lobby for Ameren.  The registration comes just days after rumors circulated that he had been calling state senators on behalf of the ISRS legislation.


In addition to Bond, Julie Finn also registered for Ameren. She’s a former Dick Gephardt staffer.  This brings to number of people registered to lobby for Ameren in Missouri to… 27.  Most of these are in-house executives, but it does include their lead lobbying team at Gamble & Schlemeier, as well as fellow lobbyists Mike Winter, Rodney Hubbard, and team of Andy Blunt and Jay Reichard, plus consultant extraordinaire David Barklage.



The Four Families of the Missouri GOP

I like to joke that unlike the “five families” in the Godfather, in Missouri Republican politics you have four families...


Take a map of Missouri and divide it into four by running a line north/south in the middle and another east/west in the middle.


In the northwest corner, you have the Sam Graves / Jeff Roe family.  In the northeast, you have the Kit Bond family.  In the southwest, you have the Roy Blunt family.  And in the southeast you have the Jo Ann Emerson / Peter Kinder / David Barklage family.


With the hiring of Bond, Ameren now has representatives from at least three of the four Republican families.  The only missing piece right now is Jeff Roe, but an Axiom staffer has been seen at ISRS hearings, so they may be somewhere in the mix, just not lobbying.




AP has the scoop on the new senate substitute bill for ISRS.  Read it here. The cap is reduced from 10% of the “base revenue” to 8%, and there’s a 20 year sunset.  The two-decade sunset provision may just be a starting point from which to yield ground on the floor as one source claims that’s even longer than the pro-ISRS forces had proposed in private negotiations.


Pull Quote: “Legislation that would allow Missouri power companies to ask for an infrastructure surcharge has been revised to reduce the cap on charges, require customer bills to be credited for improper costs and add an expiration date for the measure… The utility legislation is listed second on the Senate's debate calendar, though the Senate majority leader said Monday that he would not bring it up until after lawmakers return from their spring break on March 25.”



How do opponents feel about the changes?  FERAF topper Chris Roepe is quoted: “It’s still a really terrible bill for Missouri businesses and families.”



House Approves Pro-Life Legislation

The House approved a bill that would allow health care workers and health care institutions to refuse to perform duties that violated their conscience.  Post-Dispatch’s Virginia Young has the story.  Read it here.



Medicaid Dance?

Tomorrow (Wednesday) Senate Appropriations is expected to conduct a hearing on Sen. Paul LeVota’s Medicaid expansion bill.  Some Dems hope that this is the reasonable Republicans’ first step in a two-step dance.


#1 – make a big fuss and stink about killing the Democratic proposal to expand Medicaid via ObamaCare.


#2 – offer the reasonable, market-based, anti-ObamaCare proposal that expands Medicaid…




Florida’s state senate rejected their governor’s plea to accept the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.  Read it here.




National Labor Relations Board Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon will keynote the

28th Annual Mid-America Labor/Management Conference July 14-17 at the Lodge of the

Four Seasons.



Each side like to point out when the other side’s boss makes “too much” money. Ameren CEO Tom Voss earned $6.2 million last year.  Read it here.



St. Louis is the fastest-growing city for tech jobs?  Read it here.



Where you going for Spring Break?  Yesterday’s press release: “Gov. Jay Nixon announced today that he will lead a delegation of Missouri businesses, commodity groups and higher education institutions to South Korea and the Republic of China (Taiwan) from March 15-22.”



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Kit Bond added Ameren, and Kit Bond Strategies.

Julie Murphy Finn added Ameren.

Matthew L. Roney added Kit Bond Strategies.

Frank J Kilcullen deleted Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and Metropolitan St. Patrick Day Parade and Run in St. Louis.

Paul K Kincaid deleted Council On Public Higher Education in Missouri (COPHE)

Sarah Michael deleted Sanofi Pasteur.

Trent Watson deleted Fidelity National Information Services.



$5K+ Contributions

Missouri Health Care Association PAC - $5,015 from Skilled Healthcare.

AFSCME MO People Public Employee Organized To Promote Legislative Equality - $35,000 from AFSCME AFL-CIO

Keep KC Jobs Committee - $20,000 from Kansas City Southern RWY Co.




Happy birthday to Kack Haslag!