Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Clock Management

Although the legislative session still has five weeks left, for some select interests on select issues, the shot clock is ticking down – assuming they want a chance to get the ball back.


One example of this is the Prop B overhaul.  The best guess is that the House votes on Sen. Mike Parson’s bill (SB 113) this week.  This, despite the fact it’ll be a tight vote, and they could use another week or two of whipping.


The reason the House will vote on the Parson bill this week is so that they’ll have a second shot at the issue if Governor Jay Nixon vetoes it.  Nixon has fifteen days to sign or veto a bill during legislative session.


House Republicans are certain that override numbers are far beyond their reach on this issue. So if Nixon vetoes it, they could craft a new compromise before session’s end.  One source says that they have a good working group including the Missouri Animal Alliance, the Missouri Humane Society, the Department of Agriculture and the Farm Bureau.  (The US Humane Society is – in the new Capitol vernacular – “off the plantation.”)


Why not just work the compromise from the start?  Parson is highly respected by House leaders from his time in that chamber.  Thus despite their concern about a vote count, they’re planning to push ahead this week.



CWIP-lite: A Two-Act Play

First, Kill It

When Sen. Robin Wright JonesSB 48 (the new CWIP-lite) hits the Senate floor today, I expect a point of order objecting that the senate committee substitute goes beyond the scope of the original bill.  Pro Tem Rob Mayer has been much less expansive than his predecessor Charlie Shields in these points of order.  Therefore he may look favorably on the point of order.


If so… poof… CWIP-lite exits the Senate floor.


Then, Deal

But there’s a mounting fatigue factor on both sides, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see folks glance at the waning legislative clock and get serious about finding the compromise since there doesn’t seem like too much that separates them.



Map Politics

Congressional redistricting comes to the Senate floor today.  It’ll be a full-floor demonstration of the difference between the House and Senate.


Over in the House, Rep. John Diehl set about pleasing the congressional delegations and was able to roll over the herd of House members.


In the Senate, every senator believes themselves to be a potential congressman, Sen. Scott Rupp’s map therefore is drawn with greater senatorial sensitivity.


Here are some senators who may have something to say today:


Sens. Rob Mayer and Jason Crowell favor the Senate map over the House map because it doesn’t move the Jo Ann Emerson district as far north away from the Cape Girardeau population base.


Jason Rosenbaum says that Sen. Mike Kehoe has problems with both maps. Read it Here.


Sen. Jack Goodman has issues with the House map.


As previously mentioned Sen. Bill Stouffer is upset that his rural districts get lumped into the Emanuel Cleaver district.


And it’s said that Sens. Rupp and Tom Dempsey don’t like the St. Charles lines of the House map.



Koster Fall-out

The Post-Dispatch’s editorial today ends with the devastating paragraph “If Mr. Koster’s intent was to prove to Missouri voters that he’s not a typical Democrat, he succeeded. Mr. Koster is neither a Democrat nor a Republican, even though he’s claimed to be both.  He’s a pandering, political Opportunist, with a capital O.”  Read it Here.


One Dem says the pushback on Koster will not be so bad because he reached out to Dems beforehand and prepared them for his action against the federal healthcare suit. 


But another Dem says that primary talk is already heating up, “it gives Russ Carnahan a new option, and maybe even sister Robin too.  She could make up with the base after running away from them in 2010.”


And Irony

The Cass County Chrises…. Chris Koster and Rep. Chris Molendorp approached the federal healthcare law change in very different ways on the very same day.  Molendorp perfected the health insurance exchange on the House floor, working to prepare the state for the inevitable; Koster filed the amicus brief, a political stunt with no policy impact. 



Don’t Forget Who’s In Charge

For all the touchy-feely love going on between House Republicans and House Democrats, it’s best not to forget who’s running the show.


That’s the message behind the suddenly dormant HB 473, Rep. Tishaura Jones’ charter school bill.  She was a little too out-spoken in opposition to the redistricting bill, and the consequence is a cooling off period for her education bill.  Of course leadership wants the package, so they may come back to it, or they may start looking for an alternative vehicle…



No on EcoDevo

Two recent House votes on economic development showed a small ultra-conservative group voting against both measures, though both enjoyed broad bipartisan support.  MOSIRA passed 144-7; Aerotropolis passed 142-14.  Voting against both were Republican Reps. Kurt Bahr, Rick Brattin, Tony Dugger, Andrew Koenig, Nick Marshall, and Don Wells.



Word is the AeroHub opponents on the Senate side are asking supporters to find savings from other parts of the budget to off-set the price-tag ala Ford bill last session.



McCreery in 83

Tracy McCreery, former staffer to Joan Bray (who is now the treasurer of her campaign committee) filed an April report for House 83, vacated by Jake Zimmerman.  She raised a little over $8k and loaned herself another $5k.




Reps. Jamilah Nasheed and Penny Hubbard’s votes for the Republican redistricting plan were the subject of “heated, but not too heated” discussion in the Democratic Caucus meeting yesterday.  But no motions were made, and they are still part of the Democratic family.



Still puzzling anti-labor types and labor types alike: last week’s swift passage of Sen. Jason Crowell’s SB 202, which if approved by the voters would bar some unions from collecting fees from members’ paychecks.  One theory is that there was a deal between Pro Tem Rob Mayer and the labor senators to let it through if he backs off other labor issues like prevailing wage and project labor agreements.



We’re still in the “brinkmanship” phase of the legislative calendar, but the “compromise” phase is on its way…  Right now public schools and school choice advocates are still in a stand-off on the Turner fix.  Advantage choicers; they have an easier time rolling the dice on the courts future decisions.  Also, the formula schools and the hold harmless districts are in a stand-off over the Foundation formula fix.  Advantage hold-harmless; they actually benefit from the status quo.



Tweet of the Day

johncombest John Combest

To my friends who worked for Jeff Harris and Margaret Donnelly: yes, you told us so. #MO



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Guy Black added Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.

Michael Grote added Missouri Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons.



$5k+ Contributions

Lewis & Clark Regional Leadership Fund - $12,000 from Cole and Associates Incorporated.


Citizens for a Smoke-free Cape - $9,600 from American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.




Happy birthday to St. Louis developer Amy Gill.