Senate Gets Mired in Rules Debate
The Senate showed its mercurial nature yesterday, the second day of session. Sens. Gary Romine and Doug Libla, with occasional help from others, held the floor for seven hours in an ill-fated attempt to prevent some changes to the Senate rules.
The rules changes were not controversial. See them here.
The first changed the name of a committee from Government Accountability and Fiscal Oversight to simply Fiscal Oversight.
The second added two more seats to the Appropriations Committee, one more seat to the Progress and Development Committee, and one more seat to the Ways and Means Committee.
And the third rules clarified what has been a traditional practice already: that a motion on the floor may be withdrawn by the sponsor at any time.
That Romine and Libla chose to make this a big deal was a head-scratcher. They finally ended their filibuster in a “compromise” which dropped the third rule change. It’s hard to win much when the stakes are so low. Multiple sources say that they’d been offered this face-saving compromise hours earlier but didn’t take it until they realized they had no exit plan.
Various theories emerged about what could have motivated the pair. On the face they were complaining that increasing the membership of some committee would strain senators’ schedules. But the additions were not unreasonable. For example, it’s said that Appropriations was increasing because all the current Democrats on the Committee are termed. Minority Leader Gina Walsh rightly asked for an additional seat for someone new, so all their institutional knowledge didn’t vanish in two years.
Even if you disagree with Pro Tem Dave Schatz’ decision on committee memberships, was this the smart way of dealing with it? One lobbyist remarked, “Seems dumb for Romine and Libla. Schatz can't afford to lose his first power struggle so those two seem to have painted themselves into a corner.”
The best theories from the hallway… “I really believe that this was nothing more than an assertion of strength. A clear message to the new leadership team that they are not in control.” And “do you get the feeling that Romine and Libla were tired of hearing about the Bill Eigel faction and wanted to reassert themselves as the alpha-shit-disturbers? The deal they stopped filibustering for was first offered to them 4 hours before they stopped.”
What It Means
Folks are already extrapolating this second day stall to mean we’re in for “a long session.” I’m disinclined to make a five-month prediction based on Day Two shenanigans. In fact Schatz’ performance – patient, firm, and offering the face-saving exit – bodes well for how the inevitable jams will be dealt with.
· Brad Brown is retiring after nearly 30 years with Missouri American Water, and they’re looking for someone to fill his position. See Help Wanted below.
· In the New Committees (below) former Rep. Kevin Corlew has formed a committee to run for AG in 2024. See the paperwork here.
eMailbag on Breaking Gender Barriers
Just wanted to also give a shout out to a few more firsts!! Casey Wheat - first female ED at HRCC; Heidi Kolkmeyer - first COS to the Pro Tem in the Senate last year; Leslie Korte in the FL’s office in the House….
eMailbag on House CLEAN Rule
“Clean Missouri amended Article 3 of the Missouri Constitution, but the portion involving records (section 19) points back to the Sunshine Law. One possible meaning behind the rule you shared is that the legislature could try to claim confidentiality of some records using a currently available exemption in the Sunshine Law or could try to amend the Sunshine Law, since it’s a statute…”
American Water seeks Manager, Government Relations. “Establish and strengthen relationships with key external stakeholders, including elected officials, government staff, and community and civic organizations. Advocate on behalf of the Company to promote business growth and operational efficiency, including lobbying of elected officials. Work as a liaison between external stakeholders and the Company to address issues while maintaining positive reputation and relationships…” See the ad here.
Big shirt IP is back, now this version (see it here) is simply the right to be covered by a shirt.
Jacob Banton formed a candidate committee (Friends of Jake Banton) to run for St. Louis City Alderman, Ward 26, as a Democrat.
Kevin Corlew formed a candidate committee (Friends Of Kevin Corlew) to run for attorney general in 2024.
HealthPAC - $6,100 from MidAmerica Division Office.
Bill Hardwick For Missouri - $5,300 from Bill Hardwick.
Caroline Hoover added Kansas City Urban Youth Academy, and Navient Solutions, LLC.
Tracy King added Missouri Council For A Better Economy Dba Better Together.
Jean Paul Bradshaw deleted We Shoehigh, LLC On Behalf of Expedia/home Away, Lathrop Gage Consulting LLC, Lathrop Gage LLP, Southern Glazer's Wine And Spirits LLC, Association Of Missouri Electrical Cooperatives, U.S. Chamber Institute For Legal Reform, Helena Agri-Enterprises LLC, and Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline, Inc.
Happy birthdays to Judy Morgan, Darin Cline, and Scott Intagliata.
Saturday: Jim Ross, Scott Largent, and Rep. Nate Tate.
Sunday: Jeffrey Boyd and Garrett Poorman.