Wednesday, February 6, 2013

MOChamber Hires

Missouri Chamber is set to announce two new hires soon: Brendan Cossette and Alex Curchin.  Cossette is with Truman Medical right now, but he’s well known in the building as he previously staffed senate pro tems Mike Gibbons and Charlie Shields.  Curchin is the House’s general counsel. In a term-limits environment where one’s relationships quickly atrophy without constant cultivation these two have something more durable: a detailed understanding of the legislative process. It puts them in an elite group.


They replace Richard Moore and Rich AuBuchon who recently departed the Chamber to the for-profit sector.


The Chamber’s agenda is stuffed this session.  They are the prime movers behind SB1 (see below) to fix the Second Injury Fund.  They are supporters of Medicaid expansion, paycheck protection,  malpractice caps, bonding, transportation sales tax, all in addition to usual array of new tax credits and incentives like data centers, sporting events, freight forwarders etc.


And I’m probably missing a few things.



SB1 Debated

SB1 is expected to return to the Senate floor today for the third straight day.  It sounds like the principal negotiators trying to hammer out a compromise while Democrats held the floor were MO Chamber and the governor’s office.



Pro-ISRS Television Ad

Missourians for A Balanced Energy Future unveiled a new television.  See it here.  Some folks I was out with last night said they’ve already seen it on TV, so it’s running.


The advertisement mentioned SB207 by name and argues we should “update Missouri’s 100-year old energy regulations that are stopping investment in modern infrastructure.”



Spinners Gonna Spin

While proponents are calling SB207 “ISRS,” opponents are calling it “new rate increase surcharge” bill.  And thus goes the battle for the heart and mind of the legislature.


Proponents point to peer industries, saying it’s the same framework that gas companies have; opponents are pointing to a past surcharge bill: “The state legislature already authorized a fuel surcharge added to many Missourians’ electric bills. This surcharge has already cost Missourians $478 Million since 2006, when utilities were permitted to assess it.”



Read Virginia Young’s story of yesterday’s hearing on the bill here.



A Tale of Two Kehoe Proposals

Opponents of SB207 imply that they might be able to support the bill if had some of the same characteristics of a different infrastructure proposal from sponsor Mike Kehoe.   Sen. Kehoe – together with Sen. Ryan McKenna – unveiled SJR16 yesterday.  That’s a one-cent sales tax to go toward transportation.  See it here.


SJR16 includes a sunset provision, a precise cost to Missourians, a somewhat detailed explanation of how the money will be distributed, and finally, most prominently, a vote of the people, which opponents of SB207 think would doom the ISRS proposal.



Lamping’s Calendar Shrink

Sen. John Lamping is proposing a constitutional amendment which would shrink the legislative session from its current five month size to about three, ending in March instead of May.


One would assume that the smaller government and “the people are safe, the legislature is out of session” sentiments of the majority Republican Party would appreciate this idea.


But there is one large countervailing force: The Jefferson City Chamber of Commerce…




Former state representative Vicki Schneider gets her name back on the ballot in O’Fallon.  Read it here.



Jason Smith’s HB110 did get referred to the Senate Elections Committee yesterday.  Look for a hearing next week… after the nominating meeting for CD-8 this weekend.



Game-changer Scott Penman will be at Washington University February 15 as a panelist talking about “strategies for busy advocates.”



Last night the St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves passed housing non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.



Marky Mix in the House

A hearing on “right to work” hits this morning.  And according to a tweet from James Harris Mark Mix will be in the house.  Mix is the leader of the National Right to Work Committee.



MoHisSo in the Rotunda

The State Historical Society of Missouri has their displays up in the rotunda this morning.  Last week, they were before the Senate Rules Committee to gain approval for SCR2 which directs them to “develop plans, ideas and proposals to commemorate and celebrate the state of Missouri’s bicentennial.”   The bicentennial of Missouri’s entry into the union will be 2021.




Sen. Jason Holsman to the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission.

Sen. Jolie Justus off and Sen. Gina Walsh on the Joint Committee on Capitol Improvements and Leases Oversight.



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Rodney Boyd added Office of the Treasurer, City of St. Louis.

Shirley Breeze added Missouri Women’s Network.

Mark J Bruns and Gary Burton added American Suntanning Association.

Thomas W McCarthy added Support Kids Services Inc, and The Police Retirement System of St. Louis.

John R Phillips and J Michael Ponder added University of Missouri Board of Curators.

Brian Schmidt added Northside Regeneration LLC.

Mike Sutherland added Missouri Parks Association.

Bennie Lewis deleted Kansas City Missouri School District, and Swope Community Enterprises.

Scott Swain added SwissRe.



$5K+ Contributions

Professional Firefighters of Tri-County PAC - $50,000 from Mehlville Fire Fighters.