MOScout Daily Update: PDMP Debate Revived - Cole Forms Committee - Senate on City-County Merger and more...

PDMP Debate Revived

Senator Roy Blunt was in the building this week.  And one of his pitches to legislators was to finally pass a prescription drug monitoring program.  It seems to give a boost to that piece of legislation.

The Senate’s Conservative Caucus has minced no words saying they would oppose a PDMP.  But Senate leadership outlined the pitch they’ll make why conservatives would be well-served to consider the legislation: so many Missouri counties have joined St. Louis County’s PDMP that it covers 80-85% of the MO population.  In other words, there’s already a de facto PDMP.  They can use this legislation to make improvements and add safeguards – or they can live with the status quo.  But either way they’re not “stopping” a PDMP.  It already exists.

 

Senate Looks at STL City-County Merger

The Senate debated and voted on a non-binding resolution from Sen. Gina Walsh regarding whether the merger should be determined by a statewide vote.  It passed, after Sen. Bill Eigel expressed his “disappointment” that leadership was bringing the resolution up on Holy Thursday when folks were anxious to get back home.

Post-Dispatch’s Jack Suntrup reports that Eigel and Pro Tem Dave Schatz had a “heated discussion,” and I’m told Sen. Jeanie Riddle gave Eigel a tongue-lashing as well.

It’s official we’ve reached that part of the legislative calendar where people are starting to get sick of each other.  In January it’s like coming back to high school after summer break and everyone is happy and excited.  By mid-April, things get testy.

And

Speaker Elijah Haahr said he’ll put Rep. Dean Plocher’s HJR54 on the House calendar to get a floor vote.  Unlike Walsh’s resolution, this is a not non-binding.  It’s a constitutional amendment requiring a local vote on mergers.

 

FRA Follow Up

I heard from a few folks about the attempt to reauthorize the FRA tax / add a new managed care tax.

This is the most succinct perspective…

From a good government perspective, especially in a state like Missouri, it makes sense to bring in all the federal money you can. So it’s easy to understand why Sen. Dan Hegeman added the managed care tax in committee to the FRA reauthorization.

But in sense Hegeman hijacked the re-authorization bill before Sen. Bill Eigel did. The standard practice has been to have a clean bill.  No one in the “conservative caucus” had a problem with that and said so on the floor. 

The obvious thing would have been to file a separate bill, get a hearing on it. Not a big deal in the long run.  But they have to re-authorize the tax. 

 

NPO for SB 458

National Parents Organization sent a letter to senators touting SB 458

Earlier this week SB 458, sponsored by Senator May, was heard in the Senate Committee on Professional Registration.  The act provides that the suspension of a license when an obligor is not in compliance with a child support order shall consider all relevant factors and comply with due process…

Few disagree that failure to comply with child support deserves a penalty.  The U.S.  Department of Justice has publicized their position that the suspension of a license without due process is unconstitutional.  This bill simply takes the step of ensuring a comprehensive process is in place to protect an obligor who has not made a required payment for a good cause.

This issue is gathering steam across the nation.  Some states, such as Michigan and Virginia, are having heated conversations in their State Capitols as well as in their courts regarding choosing the suspension of a drivers’ license as the penalty for child custody arrears.  A common criticism that it is a failure of common-sense to prohibit a person who is not paying child support from driving to a job or driving to seek one, nor is it often feasible for them to be able to visit their children.  Not all areas of the nation have accessibility to public transportation, and certainly not all areas of Missouri…

Sincerely,

Linda Reutzel

National Parents Organization

Board Member and Missouri Chair

 

Daily Revenue Watch

Remember these numbers are volatile and jump around a lot, so don’t get too excited, but…. the April 17 numbers showed a big jump individual income tax receipts bringing year to date to only – 1.22% or down $87 million.

 

Bits

·         Former Speaker Tim Jones has been selected to serve on the ALEC “Private Enterprise Advisory Council.” It provides advisory assistance to the elected officials who make up the ALEC National Board of Directors.

·         The Twenty-First Circuit Judicial Commission announced the panel of three nominees to fill the circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis County created by the retirement of Judge Maura B. McShane. Those nominated by the commission are: Judge Jason D. Dodson, Judge Joseph L. Green, and Judge Richard L. Stewart.

·         Post Dispatch reports that “Steve Corsi, who ran the Department of Social  Services, will leave in June to pursue a position with a faith-based nonprofit, Gov. Mike Parson said in a statement Thursday… Corsi, who was earning $148,000 annually, was brought to Missouri by Gov. Eric Greitens after serving as director of a similar agency in Wyoming...”

 

New Committees

David Cole formed a candidate committee (Friends Of David Cole) to run for Senate 29 as a Republican.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Jean Peters Baker, Bill Stouffer, Bert Atkins, Sylvester Taylor, and Mack Bradley.

Saturday: Chris Moody, Chris Roepe, Pam Dixon and Amanda Latty.

Sunday: Dan Mehan, David Barklage, Paul Curtman and Maynard Wallace.

 

MOScout Schedule

Look for a Weekender edition tomorrow. And then I’m taking Monday off.  Legislature is off Monday too, reconvening Tuesday afternoon.  Four weeks left…