Senate 29: Count Cole In
One well-placed source says definitely that David Cole is “all in” for Senate 29. The current incumbent, Sen. David Sater, is termed.
Cole is an attorney, and former chair of the Republican State Party. Other names have been mentioned for the seat – like Rep. Mike Moon, for example. But Cole becomes the immediate front-runner as he will be able to raise significant money, and quickly corral community endorsements.
Another question mark for 2020 Senate races has been Senate 9 where Sen. Kiki Curls is term limited. One lobbyist suggested that we may see Rep. DaRon McGee move into her district and run. We’ll see if that happens, but it would have the ancillary effect of avoiding a primary with Rep. Greg Razer in Senate 7 (Holsman termed).
Senate Treads Water
The Senate worked three difficult bills and failed to move any of them forward yesterday. That’s the Senate process. It takes time.
· Sen. David Sater’s changes to the initiative petition process was debated for hours before being laid over.
· Sen. Dan Hegeman’s extension and expansion of the FRA tax was debated for hours before being laid over
· Sen. Jeanie Riddle’s tort reform measure was debated for hours before being laid over.
The most interesting episode within the day was with Hegeman’s FRA bill, SB 29. Sen. Bill Eigel, and the Conservative Caucus, stood in opposition because it includes a new tax on managed care programs. The tax is relatively modest - $20-$30 per plan per year – and would be used to bolster the budget with matching federal funds.
For Eigel and others, though, it’s a new tax. And ideologically, feeling that government is big enough (or already too big), they oppose new taxes.
An alternative view is that taxes are neither good or bad. Like guns or airplanes, they are morally neutral. They become good or bad depending how they are used. A particular tax is judged good or bad according to how its benefits and costs are weighed.
Eigel hit upon a potential compromise and offered it: to add work requirements for Medicaid recipients. This is something Republicans have pushed for. Yet when the vote came, half of the Senate Republican Caucus voted against the amendment.
AYES: Brown, Burlison, Eigel, Emery, Hoskins, Koenig, Luetkemeyer, O’Laughlin, Onder, Romine, Sater, and Wallingford.
NAYS: Arthur, Bernskoetter, Cierpiot, Crawford, Cunningham, Curls, Hegeman, Holsman, Hough, Libla, May, Nasheed, Riddle, Rizzo, Rowden, Schatz, Schupp, Sifton, Walsh, White, Wieland, and Williams.
Why did half the Republican caucus balk at the compromise?
Perhaps it was out of respect for the Appropriations Chair, an effort to keep his bill clean and make it easier to pass.
One building denizen suggested it was “more that they were all pissed that Eigel was trying to hijack the FRA. [That’s why] your own caucus will vote against something they all absolutely believe in.”
What It Means
The FRA extension is critical. There is still plenty of time for this to get worked out, but obviously the easily path is to simply drop the new managed care tax.
Kansas City Star reports that, despite previous assurances, common sense is correct that you’re going to need eminent domain to run a futuristic travel machine from one end of the state to the other. See their story here.
One lobbyist profanely shook his head: The speaker should hand someone their a** for feeding him a load of bs and getting him to repeat it at a press conference. Especially in light of his rally against eminent domain for energy generation yesterday. $10 billion + eminent domain = no f**king way.
Something Fishy in Parma
Statement from the Auditor’s Office: Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today announced she will accept a request by the City of Parma in New Madrid County to audit questionable financial activity… The State Auditor's office was contacted through the Whistleblower Hotline about concerns related to the city operations under the mayor. After an investigation, the allegations were found to be credible. The mayor lost reelection earlier this month and a new mayor and city council member were sworn in Tuesday (April 16). Public officials in Parma have requested an audit, and the city will formally make the request at a special meeting on Thursday (April 18). Overnight, fire officials responded to several fires in the area. This included fires at the home of the former mayor, city hall and the police department. According to local news reports, arson is suspected.
The City of Parma is represented by Sen. Doug Libla and Rep. Don Rone.
Daily Revenue Watch
As of close of business April 16, state revenues were down $195 million or -2.76%.
St. Louis City Board of Alderman seeks Legislative Researcher. “Assists the Board of Aldermen with research and analysis of legislation and topics before the committees and full Board of Aldermen; Assists the Board of Aldermen with topical research on matters of public policy; Assists the Board of Aldermen and committees with drafting of bills, substitutes and amendments; Drafts reports for committees; Serves as a liaison with government agencies, legislative staff in other cities, and other organizations and experts; Monitors legislative activity by attending committee meetings and full Board of Aldermen meetings… Annual salary range: $28,000 – $30,000 plus medical benefits, life insurance and parking…” See it here.
Nucor Missouri PAC was formed. Its treasurer is Stephanie Garrett.
Jacqueline Bardgett, John Bardgett, Ericka Leonard, and Chris Roepe added Tellus Health Corp and Gregory Germano.
George “Cannevangelist TM” Everett Biswell added George E Biswell.
Rodney Gray, Tami Holliday, and Susan Henderson Moore added Nola Education LLC.
Nicole Luckey added Invenergy.
Ian Wrobel added Ian Wrobel.
Happy birthdays to Nate Walker, Mike Colona (the big 5-0), Amanda Good, Maria Altman, Jane Bogetto, Lori Becker, Aaron Hedlund, Elizabeth Weber, and Charlie Hinderliter.