1 Big Thing: GOP House’s Retired Teachers Caucus
One political observer remarked after watching the stalled school choice debate… “Speaker [Tim] Jones made education ‘reform’ a priority issue as well, and couldn't get it over the line. Rural school superintendents have always been the key power players in those districts; the school system is often the biggest employer and hub of social/economic activity and that isn't going to change.”
But in addition to the superintendents – truly a powerful group in this debate – there’s another group that’s often overlooked… rural legislators in the Republican House caucus with life-long ties to the “educational establishment.” When other rural legislators hear their colleagues with educational experience and expertise speak skeptically or critically of the reformers’ message, it reinforces the superintendents’ position.
Current rural Republican legislators with a background in education…
· Rep. Rusty Black “worked as an Agriculture Educator for thirty-two years before retiring in 2016. During his time as a teacher, Rep. Black worked at Nodaway-Holt R-7 for five years and Chillicothe R-2 Schools for twenty-seven years.”
· Rep. Bob Bromley is “a former science teacher, and coach.”
· Rep. Chris Dinkins “is a former public school teacher who still substitutes at local schools throughout the district when called upon.”
· Rep. Karla Eslinger “is a lifelong educator with more than 30 years of experience in a variety of educational settings... she served as an assistant commissioner of education for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She began her career as an elementary school teacher and went on to work as a building principal and a superintendent of schools.”
· Rep. Rick Francis “previously spent 33 years in education as a teacher and coach at Risco, Woodland and Perryville High Schools and served as Middle School Principal and Assistant Superintendent for Perry County School District #32. Rep. Francis retired from The Lindbergh School District where he was Assistant Superintendent for Personnel.”
· Rep. Elaine Gannon “spent 32 years teaching junior high physical education and coaching in the DeSoto Public Schools.”
· Rep. Mike Henderson “worked as an Educator Administrator from 1983-2014, and served as both as teacher and a coach.”
· Rep. Herman Morse “spent twenty-seven years working at the Dexter Public Schools and was an adjunct professor for Three Rivers College for sixteen years. He was also the manager of the Dexter Public Schools Credit Union for nineteen years. He has been a member of the Dexter Schools Board of Education for fourteen years.”
· Rep. Donna Pfautsch “retired in 2012 after 40 years as a teacher and gifted-education facilitator in the Harrisonville school district.”
· Rep. Patricia Pike “retired in 2014 after 36 years serving as a High School Guidance Counselor, Family and Consumer Science Teacher and Parents as Teachers Coordinator.”
· Rep. Brad Pollitt “previously worked as an educator and administrator for 34 years. Pollitt served as a teacher and coach in North Shelby and Sedalia, a principal in Smithton, assistant superintendent in Knob Noster and superintendent in Sedalia.”
· Rep. Becky Ruth is a “retired teacher and taught at Festus High School.”
· Rep. David Wood “taught mathematics and computer science in Versailles for 25 years and was also a Tech Coordinator.”
Driving the Day: Pelosi to Ferguson
Media Advisory: Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D) Missouri will welcome Speaker Nancy Pelosi to St. Louis as they join with community leaders and local & state elected officials to push for final congressional approval of HR. 1, The For the People Act of 2019; and HR 4, The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019.
1:45M at Urban League Empowerment Center in Ferguson, MO.
Looking for Workers: The New Supply Side
Springfield News-Leader has an article on the dearth of “soft skills” in today’s labor pool. See it here.
In Springfield, a city where 2.7 percent of people are unemployed but 25.7 percent of people live in poverty, city and business leaders often talk about a "skills gap" between what well-paying employers are looking for and what employees can provide.
A recent survey of 507 private and public employers found that 61 percent of respondents thought "motivational" skills were lacking from the workforce; 57 percent said people's interpersonal skills were inadequate. Employers also cited hiring issues, such as not having enough applicants, not hearing from applicants with adequate work experience or not getting people with the right technical or occupational skills. And just over a quarter of employers said they couldn't hire people because folks just didn't show up for their interviews…
Tracy McGrady, the provost for Ozarks Technical Community College, said sometimes her students don't have life experience that would help them to learn those habits… OTC tries to help that by putting an emphasis on punctuality in class, requiring some students in technical programs to wear uniforms and incorporating team projects into the curriculum so that students can accomplish tasks by working together…
What It Means
For a generation of Republicans “supply side” economics has meant cutting the income tax rate to remove the “disincentive” to work. But clearly we’re in a different place now. Cutting the top income tax bracket from 70% to 28% during the Reagan years arguably made an impact on behavior. Cutting the another .1% or .2% off the tax rate now probably makes no difference to whether someone decides to work an extra job on the weekend.
Instead increasing the supply side of the equation now is…
· An educational system that instills the “soft skills,” like showing up, working well with others, treating customers with respect.
· Mid-life job retraining for those who entered occupations made obsolete by technology or trade.
· Loosening immigration requirements to let the free market work its magic in the labor market.
Bill Tally at Mid-Point
One MOScouter calculates… “Thus far, the House has third read only 68 bills. Last year, the body had third read 158 before Spring Break. The Senate, meanwhile, has third read 33 bills. Last year, they had third read 39.”
Andrew Smith <ASmith@stlregionalchamber.com>
Subject: [EXTERNAL] exciting personal news!
I wanted to let you know that I will be leaving the St. Louis Regional Chamber effective March 22nd to pursue what I believe is a once in a lifetime opportunity: working full-time to bring Hyperloop to Missouri.
Despite my passion for this project and its potential impact on our state, this was not an easy decision. I love the Chamber, it’s people, and its mission…
My new position is with First Rule, led by Travis Brown. Travis and his team have been key partners in the work we have already done on Hyperloop. I will also be serving as Vice Chair of Speaker Elijah Haahr’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Hyperloop Funding and Financing…
DHSS Released Some Draft MMJ Rules
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services released draft rules for implementation of medical marijuana. They included rules for operating “Medical Marijuana Establishments Generally,” a “Cultivation Facility,” a “Infused Products Manufacturing Facility,” as well as a “Dispensary Facility.” See them here.
So far, the state has received 139 pre-applications for Cultivation Facilities. It will issue 60 licenses. It has received 252 pre-applications for Dispensary Facilities. It will issue 192 licenses. It has received 71 pre-applications for Medical Marijuana-infused Manufacturing Facilities. It will issue 86.
What It Means
Every week lobbyists are registering for MMJ clients. Lobbyists are only one component of a team that successful applicants are assembling. They’re going to help applicants understand the rules process, explain how these rules may shape the actual application and how those applications are “scored,” keep an eye on pending legislation which could reshape the landscape, and generally be another set of eyes and ears in the political sphere of this evolving industry.
Buzzing around St. Louis social media… fear of Rep. Andrew McDaniel and his bills requiring gun ownership.
HB 1052 - Establishes the McDaniel Second Amendment Act, which requires every person 21 years of age or older who can legally possess a firearm to own a handgun and authorizes a tax credit for a purchase of a handgun.
HB 1108 - Establishes the McDaniel Militia Act, which requires every person between 18 and 35 years of age who can legally possess a firearm to own an AR-15 and authorizes a tax credit for a purchase of an AR-15.
Remember when requiring folks to buy healthcare was government overreach.
Former Show-Me Institute staffer Dave Stokes has started a new web series, The Public Interest. See the first episode here. It’s unorthodox. It begins with a beer pour, and then Stokes explains that the series will discuss policy issues “without devolving into partisanship and yelling.” The first topic is school choice, featuring James Shuls of the University of Missouri - St. Louis.
Scenes from Transportation Committee
Last week Sen. Doug Libla was presenting his gas tax, SB 430. Lobbyist Sam Panettiere was coming up for testimony, after Sen. Bill Eigel had wrapped up very aggressive questioning of lobbyist Randy Scherr that involved the Senator repeatedly pressing for a yes or no answer to a question about overruling the will of the people.
Sen. Brian Williams: “Somebody needs to put some Vaseline on his face…”
Sen. Gary Romine: “Well, let’s let him testify then we’ll see how we need to go.”
After Panettiere, always the consummate professional went on the record in support of the bill and left…
Sen. Romine: “Any questions for this witness?”
Sen. Williams: “Run, baby, run.”
More on Brown Arrest
News Tribune reports on staffer Jared Brown’s arrest. See it here.
The chief of staff for a Missouri state senator has been formally charged after getting into a fight last week at a Jefferson City bar… with unlawful use of a weapon and peace disturbance. Both are misdemeanor charges… Sen. Brown told the Associated Press earlier this week that Jared Brown had been placed on leave to "get the help he needs."
New Mag Coming?
A new magazine is coming to St. Louis… St. Louisan Magazine.
On JournalismJobs, they’re looking for a reporter (see it here).
A St. Louis based monthly magazine is seeking a full-time reporter to add to its team... Reporters will follow and report on pop culture and politics in the immediate St. Louis area including but not limited to the following: St. Louis County and City politics, City-Counter Merger, Privatization of the Lambert International Airport… To apply, send resume and references to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brittany Robbins, wife of lobbyist Thomas Robbins, recently wrote on Facebook: I'm looking for small business owners in St. Louis County and City that are considered pillars of their community and willing to be profiled…
Michelle Chamberlain - $6,500 from Conference Technologies, Inc.
MO State Teachers Assoc Legislative Impact Co - $7,500 from Central Region Teachers Association.
Friends of SPS - $7,500 from SRC Holdings Corporation.
Jane Dueker, Rodney Hubbard and Sam Licklider added Kingdom Principles, Inc.
Jeremy LaFaver added Independent Colleges & Universities of Missouri.
Peter Barnes added American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers.
Thomas Robbins and Steven Tilley added Swamp East Growers.
Happy birthdays to Francis Slay, and Tod Martin.
Today was a bit of a dump from my in-box, but I expect shorter morning Updates this week during Spring Break. I will take off Friday for a long weekend. So no Update this Friday and no Weekender this weekend.