Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some People Just Don’t Get the Free Market

Last night Sen. Jane Cunningham’s SB 222, which would remove some restrictions on child labor, received national needling from Jay LenoSee it Here.  The punch-line: “Why should the kids in China get all the factory jobs?”



Senate 17: They’re Off

This morning Rep. Ryan Silvey will announce his intention to seek state senate in 2012.  As I reported a week ago, he has amended his campaign committee to reflect the new bid.  But this morning he makes it official. 


Silvey will unveil a wide list of supporters which shows the strength of his candidacy regardless of how the lines of Senate 17 are drawn during redistricting.  Incumbent Senator Luann Ridgeway says, “I’m happy to give my wholehearted support…” 


Others on the endorsement list: Sen. Rob Schaaf, Reps. Myron Neth, T.J. Berry, Nick Marshall, Ron Schieber, and former rep Tim Flook, Clay County’s presiding commissioner Pam Mason and the recorder of deeds Jay Lawson.



Meanwhile on the Democratic side Bill Skaggs was making the rounds of the Building yesterday.  Skaggs, 69, is a former state representative and currently a member of the Kansas City Council told folks plainly that he’s planning to run.


The early handicapping goes to Silvey.



Local Control

HB 71, the bill which would return control of the St. Louis police department to that city, will be debated on the House floor on Thursday.


It’s said that Floor Leader Tim Jones is accommodating the wishes of both the coppers who were up at the Capitol yesterday, and some business leaders from St. Louis who are anxious to move the bill forward.


One development is that expectation of an amendment to the bill which will prohibit the use of undercover policemen at gun shows in the city.  It’s a priority for the National Rifle Association, and will likely result in “rated votes.”  These are the votes that the NRA uses in determining how well a legislator represents their interests.  They can be critical in endorsements.


It’s possible that there will be three rated votes in conjunction with this bill: the vote on the amendment, the perfection vote and the final passage.  This will provide an incentive for rural Republicans who have been ambivalent about the city’s control of its police force to vote for the bill.




The House held a hearing on Ameren’s latest proposal to start the nuclear power plant process by allowing the $40ish million of permit costs to be recovered.


The hearing room was packed with almost every single lobbyist in the building crammed into the place. The guess is that the bill has the votes to pass the House.  But having the votes is not even half the game sometimes.


In this case, the similar bill on the Senate side is stuck in Sen. Jason Crowell’s committee. Crowell has previously been hostile to the idea.


Thus the House leadership is loath to put their members in the position of having to vote for a fee increase when the legislation’s final passage seems unlikely at best.


The case for the House moving on it anyway is two-fold: first, the House sponsor is Rep. Jeanie Riddle.  She’s Assistant Floor Leader and has been a team player; it’d be a nice reward for her to pass it out of the House.


Second, as we learned last session, the mercurial Crowell cannot be fenced in.  Last session he traded his pledge to oppose any new tax credits (the Ford plant) for pension reform.  A similar trade might be possible – perhaps exchanging his CWIP-lite hostage for “right to work” or the minimum wage change?


It’s possible, but not if the House doesn’t move CWIP-lite first.  And right now, there’s no indication it’s going anyway.



Senate Bits

Voter ID

Yesterday the Senate perfected the Voter ID bill.  The Voter ID resolution is still on the calendar.  The bill only matters if the resolution passes and voters approve Voter ID.  (It’s said to poll at 70-30 or something landslide-ish like that).  Separately, one source says that the governor’s office won’t commit to labor to a veto on Voter ID.



Schmitt Stuff Moves

Also yesterday, the Senate gave final approval to Sen. Eric Schmitt’s phase-out of the franchise tax.  Today they will take up his SB 108 which would extend the sunset on regulating municipalities requiring sprinklers in residential homes.



Suddenly Gossipy Paddy Bits

Last night I got a gander at Sen. Jolie Justus’ iPhone where she keeps her fluid, but highly competitive ranking of her favorite Republicans… guess who rounds out the top ten? None other than Governor Jay Nixon



Former Rep. Bryan Stevenson has hung out a law shingle.  His partner is Christopher Dumm, leading to former colleagues to howl the firm name should be Dumm and Dumber…



Other Bits

Today the US Census announces the next round of data releases.  Missouri officials are hopeful that they’ll be in it so the number crunching can begin.



Kim Carlos has joined Missourians for a Balanced Energy Future as communications director.



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Michael Gibbons and Tricia Workman added Cheyenne International LLC.

Robert Hess II and Harvey Tettlebaum deleted Husch Blackwell Sanders LLP.



$5k+ Contributions

Citizens for a Stronger St. Louis - $25,000 from Wells Fargo Advisors LLC.


Citizens for a Stronger St. Louis - $10,000 from Clayco.


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City PAC for Missouri - $10,000 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.