The Week Ahead…
Grab some popcorn because things could be interesting this week in the Senate. At last Thursday’s press availability, Floor Leader Caleb Rowden said that education reform would probably be coming up for debate soon.
Either of these bills will find resistance from portions of the Democratic Caucus and also, potentially, the southeast duo of Sens. Gary Romine and Doug Libla. Romine is capable of taking offense at perceived slights. And one possible insult is that neither of these bills went to his Education Committee, but instead were routed through the authors’ committees.
Word is that Pro Tem Dave Schatz’ resolution to enable the governor’s bonding plan may also hit the Senate floor this week.
In anticipation the Conservative Caucus filed its alternative plan, The Bridge And Road Authorization Trust Fund. It takes the cash balance remaining after any budget year and gives half of it to the fund to do road work. By their math, there’d be potentially hundreds of millions of dollars funneled into the road fund in any given year – and no interest payments!
An additional selling point for the conservatives’ plan: The legislature “always laments not having control over MoDoT. With [their plan the legislature gets] fiscal authority over MoDoT personnel and administration…”
As one lobbyist points out, “it would be impossible for MoDOT to plan five years out, as they do now, without having some kind of idea how much ‘leftover’ GR there will be.”
Driving home that point is Rudi Keller’s recent reporting that the state’s revenue uncertainty might mean less money leftover at the end of this year… “The consensus revenue estimate is based on overall revenue growth of 1.7 percent. But to achieve that meager result, the next four months will have to be spectacular, with 11.6 percent growth. There was an unexpected spurt in revenue last year that is providing a cushion in this year’s budget, so Parson hasn’t ordered any extraordinary withholding. Revenues over the next four months must exceed the same period of 2018 by $457 million. That’s a lot of reduced refunds and extra payments. In fact, it is $91 million more than the revenue estimate for lower refunds and increased payments.”
And The Weekend Behind…
I skipped Lincoln Days, but thankfully a trust-worthy MOScouter sent me some observations…
· Overall vibe: "Somewhere between a comic book nerd convention and a power Drink-A-Thon"
· “Nearly every statewide had a brand-new banner...because nearly every statewide is new in office.”
· “Senator Josh Hawley was there, which actually surprised me a little bit. I figured he’d be done for a while.”
· But “Hawley’s team looked like a bunch of leftover Greitens aides all running around purposefully in jeans and vests”
· “Speaker Elijah Haahr was greeted like a rock-star for the passage of pro-life HB 126 and earned several ovations when he spoke. People are wondering if he’s a 7th CD candidate should Congressman Billy Long, who’s only known life in the majority until now, decide that life in the minority isn't much fun”
· “Former state party chair David Cole was making the rounds discussing a run for [termed] Sen. David Sater’s Senate 29 seat...probably rumbles with Rep. Mike Moon in an epic establishment vs unpolished outsider primary”
· “Chris Howard had a resolution that opposed the St. Louis City/County Merger… [but] with many of the out-state GOP Committee members either opposing the resolution or questioning why they would support a resolution that essentially supported more government and higher taxes, he withdrew his resolution before a vote occurred.”
· Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft was “hustling” and his “public presence has improved significantly since his first race, but if his name were Jay Smith, he’d be lucky to chair his local central committee.”
· Finally… “At least one hospitality suite ended up with vomit on the floor and tables.”
The perhaps the most striking difference to another observer was what a difference a year makes. February 2018’s Lincoln Days was remembered as then-governor Eric Greitens engulfed in a fresh and ultimately fatal scandal (though it would continue for months before that became evident). This year it was a party without the drama, “focused on teamwork leading into 2020.”
Pharmaceutical Management Program for injured employees receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
The Office of Administration, Division of General Services, Risk Management Section administers the workers’ compensation program for all State of Missouri employees, excluding employees of the University of Missouri System, Department of Transportation, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The State of Missouri self-assumes the costs of providing workers’ compensation benefits to all covered state employees (section 105.800, RSMo.)… Approximately 58,000 state employees are currently covered under the self-insured workers’ compensation program administered by CARO. Approximately $811,608 accounted for the cost of drugs that were processed thru the current pharmacy network in fiscal year 2018…
The number of prescriptions filled over the previous three (3) fiscal years are listed below:
FY 2018 6,312
FY 2017 6,620
FY 2016 6,368…
The contractor shall implement and maintain a Pharmaceutical Management Program for injured employees receiving workers’ compensation benefits, for the Office of Administration, Division of General Services, Risk Management Section, in accordance with the provisions and requirements stated herein and to the sole satisfaction of the state agency.
OptumRX PBM of Illinois Inc has the current contract (CS160459001).
Department of Health & Senior Services is giving Suter Consulting a no-bid contract…
It is the intent of the State of Missouri to purchase the supplies and/or services identified below as single feasible source procurement without competitive bids in accordance with 34.044 RSMo. If other suppliers for such supplies/services exist, you must notify the buyer immediately.
Title: Teledentistry Education
Description: Educate dental health professionals regarding how to create and operate a teledentistry practice.
Supplier: Suter Consulting LLC
Dollar Amount: $20,000
It looks like Suter Consulting normally works with optometrists, not dentists.
· News Tribune reports that “MU Health Care leadership said it would not seek legislation this session that would enable it to purchase properties owned by SSM Health, the St. Louis-based Catholic nonprofit health system that owns St. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City and in Mexico. SSM Health and University of Missouri Health Care announced in August they had been in exclusive negotiations to transfer ownership of the hospital and other properties for some time...”
· In a wowza of a tweet, Dem donor Barry Aycock says he’s suffered some financial setback because of a vote and withhold support because of it… “Dear Missouri Dems. When I get back the $400,000 @Kip_Kendrick cost me yesterday or until he resigns or apologizes for voting straight R supporting monopolies. Don’t call me for any donations. I’ll call you. Goes for the 10 that’s called this week…”
· Former Missouri Supreme Court Justice Mike Wolff, former Solicitor General Jim Layton, and attorney Dave Roland penned an op/ed in the Post-Dispatch offering a few prescriptions to tidy up the Missouri constitution and keep it clean from clutter. Read it here.
Missourians For Mike Cierpiot - $20,000 from Mike Cierpiot.
Friends of SPS - $12,300 from Pioneer Outdoors.
Friends of SPS - $10,000 from Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.
Steven Tilley and Thomas Robbins added LSL Management LLC.
Ron Berry added Prestige Transportation.
David Jackson deleted City of Chesterfield and City of St. Charles.
David Sweeney added Advantes Development.
Happy birthdays to Sen. Dan Hegeman and former Rep. Rochelle Gray.