Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Deal?

Here’s the talk about a deal to bridge the current impasse as it relates to extra money for SEMO.  The plan is to up the amount from $2.3 million to maybe something in the $3 million ballpark, and then spread that money around to more universities than just SEMO.  It would give $500,000 extra dollars or so to those institutions at the bottom of the funding totem pole, including SEMO.

 

I don’t have confirmation that all the details have been ironed out and agreed to, but this appears to the contour for a deal.

 

Assuming it’s inked today, the budget should be able to move forward.  (Famous last words).

 

 

Then What?

Once the budget puzzle is resolved, there really aren’t any big fights left.  We’re facing an anti-climatic last week.    While there are still bills in play, done of them has the drama and scope of last year’s Aerotropolis or CWIP attempts.

 

 

Rethinking the PQ

When Sen. Jason Crowell sat in his chair and refused to close on his amendment two nights ago, he was daring the Senate body to move to the previous question (“PQ”).

 

Former pro tem Charlie Shields once referred to the PQ as a “traumatic event,” and others have called it the “nuclear option.”

 

While the procedure only requires a constitutional majority, it violates the code of the Senate that any senator should be able to delay a vote on any legislation as far as their physical stamina allows.  In practice, it becomes as much a game of patience as anything else.

 

And this session, a band of senators have frequently been willing to test the patience of the chamber.  They have coalesced now around any particular issue so much as a balance of power calculation.  The twin towers of this “gang” have been Sens. Jim Lembke and Rob Schaaf, two freshmen.  But aiding them throughout session depending on their availability and engagement have been another half-dozen senators.  These two have discovered that if they can enlist two other senators to join their determination on any piece of legislation, they can kill it.

 

A PQ against these mini-filibusters throughout session was never even discussed.  But if there were a less “traumatic” way for the Senate to close debate, would it benefit public policy?

 

Obviously Democrats would be wary of a rule change – even a ¾ cloture rule would be dangerous territory in their current numbers.

 

And despite the sometimes tiresome nature of the current method of legislating, the body does work through most challenges.  Yes, bad boy Crowell appears to have delayed the budget process, but accommodating his concerns did not do any real damage to the state.

 

One observer believes that a rule change involving cloture will be under consideration next January.  Stay tuned…

 

 

McCaskill goes on Colbert

See it Here.

 

Colbert: You know I have a SuperPAC, ColbertPAC.  And I don’t know if you read the paper –I’ve got so much cash. Would you like some of it?

 

McCaskill: Well I can’t ask you for SuperPAC money because that would be coordination which as you well know Stephen is illegal.

 

Colbert: I was trying to entrap you in a federal crime…

 

McCaskill: You were! I caught you!

 

 

Bits

Waynesville Daily Guide looks for an editor.  See it Here.

 

 

The four petition initiatives still in play – local control for St. Louis police department, cigarette tax, payday loan interest rate cap, and minimum wage hike.  Read it Here.

 

 

In any argument, debate or struggle, time is the most powerful ally or enemy, wouldn’t you agree?  Read it Here.

 

 

In preparation for this senate race, Rep. Mike McGhee has painted his car with signatures of supporters…

 

 

Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:

 

Chris Roepe added Freedom Bonding LLC.

Kelvin L Simmons added Willco Technologies Inc., and HR Benefits Solutions.

Thomas J Irwin deleted Civic Progress.

 

 

$5K+ Contributions

Citizens to Elect John Wright - $10,000 from Richard McGuire.

Clean Water STL - $10,000 from HDR Engineering Inc.

 

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Scott Penman (44), Gregg Keller (35) and Don Hicks.