Two days left…
Senate Passes Abortion Bill
Even before the Senate took up the “heartbeat” abortion bill yesterday Democratic Sens. Jill Schupp and Lauren Arthur started a filibuster.
The entire day, night and early morning was consumed by the abortion bill, with the Senate standing in recess for much of it as negotiations took place.
Negotiations on this issue are difficult. Neither the conservative nor liberal base wants legislators who will compromise. They’d prefer the principled martyr to the pragmatic legislator who listens the other side and yields some ground.
Sens. Bill Eigel and Bob Onder, for example, were in the no-compromise camp. They asked why would there be a compromise on pro-life legislation when compromise was off the table on state incentives for a manufacturing business. A legitimate question. Yet, inside the building there was great respect for Senate leadership and for bill handler Sen. Andrew Koenig. They ultimately eschewed the “easy” path of a PQ, even if they used its looming presence as leverage.
What I heard…
· I've been asked why [Dave] Schatz and [Caleb] Rowden are working so hard to find a compromise with the Democrats instead of PQ'ing the bill, as Onder wants. If the other 16 Republican Senators all have 1 bill that they want to finish, but if Schatz and Rowden let Onder and Eigel shut down the Senate, they're not really serving the caucus members who elected them.
· Rowden deserves huge credit for not taking the easy way out of a pq and keeping negotiating, Koenig has shown how to be a conservative senator and still effective...
1 Big Thing: Conservative vs Republican
Critics of the Senate Conservative Caucus are quick to point out how little their disruption has won them this session.
· Their biggest priority of education reform hasn’t even been on the radar of ether chamber this final week.
· There was no progress on implementing a Wayfair internet sales tax without an offsetting incomes tax cut.
· The governor ultimately got his closing fund which they were adamantly opposed to all session.
· Rather their biggest win is what they’ve stopped: PDMP (see Rehder letter below). Something former Sen. Rob Schaaf managed to do almost singlehandedly for several years.
But there’s little handwringing inside the Conservative Caucus from what I can tell. They see themselves as a movement. And from that standpoint…
· They’ve grown from mostly just Sens. Bill Eigel and Denny Hoskins a year ago to having six members in their “fighting force.”
· Most are early in their Senate tenure – two freshmen, and three up for re-election next year. They see their numbers growing in the years ahead.
· All six participated in their GM filibuster, demonstrating a unity of purpose.
What It Means
The next few cycles will define which direction this goes. Several Republican Senate primaries will likely feature regular Republicans and upstart conservatives. Sen. Eigel’s PAC will be one of the Conservative Caucus’ vehicles to support candidates they think will join their bloc.
eMailbag on MO Going KS
There is no comparison between KS and MO mods…….in KS they are truly old-fashioned Nancy Kassebum Republicans. They don’t exist in MO.
Rehder Contra Conservative Caucus
Rep. Holly Rehder penned a letter to her fellow legislators shaking a fist at the Senate’s Conservative Caucus for their part in sinking the PDMP bill she’s championed.
For the seven years that I have been here, we have worked to pass a statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Two days left in session and it’s safe to say this won’t be the year it finally gets done. I realize that makes some of you cheer. But for the many Missourians silently struggling with this epidemic at home tonight, they won’t be. Year after year as we have failed to act thousands of our citizens have lost their lives….
All Session we have seen some members of the self-titled “Senate Conservative Caucus” sew a path of obstruction not often based on conservative principles. Their brand of “conservatism” has proven if anything, only to be consistently inconsistent. They have decided that their view of conservatism is better than not only that of their colleagues but of even President Trump. In case they didn’t know, since being elected, President Trump has been leading the fight to end the opioid epidemic ravaging our country. He has signed executive orders, helped pass bi-partisan legislation and launched a national initiative to end opioid abuse by, among other things, advocating for the creation of a nationwide prescription drug monitoring program….
In closing, I think it’s important that we always call balls and strikes regardless of who’s in the game. Some filibusters are worthy efforts; some are nothing more than political posturing trying to secure a position in the next election. It’s pretty easy to see true intent and motives around here; when a Senator stands in their Ivory Tower giving speeches and holding up progress because they aren’t getting their way; or when Senators hide behind disingenuous tweets to slander a colleague while attempting to hide their true intent; or when Senators vehemently oppose a policy in the Capitol for the rest of the state, but remain silent when their local officials pass it back home. That’s not statesmanlike my friends, that’s cowardice…
Blues Lose in STL, Win in JCity
The legislature TAFP’d Freshman Rep. Jon Patterson’s stadium funding bill yesterday. It provides revenue for the Enterprise Center, Truman Sports Complex, and Bartle Hall. Sen. Mike Cierpiot was the Senate handler. The lobbying effort was led by Brian Grace and Kate Casas at Nexus Group and Becky Lohmann and David Willis at Catalyst. This bill is one of the heaviest lifts accomplished this session that wasn’t a priority of the Republican caucuses.
Puck drops 7PM Friday night….
One veteran observer wonders if HJR 54 will cross the finish-line…
Among measures with bipartisan support in both chambers is Rep. Dean Plocher’s HJR 54, a proposed constitutional amendment that asks voters to require any merger or dissolving of cities and counties to be subject to approval only if the affected cities and counties approve the change.
It takes direct aim at the efforts of Better Together, a group funded by St. Louis billionaire Rex Sinquefield.
HJR45 passed the House 143-10 on May 2. Its last official action as was a May 9 hearing in Senate Fiscal Oversight and a do-pass recommendation on Monday, May 13. As of Wednesday afternoon, it sits.
The Senate could still hurtle it through by 6 p.m. Friday, setting the stage for a statewide election that – if the amendment passes – would checkmate any future statewide forced merger.
Consider this “Rex Insurance.” It would take a concrete, powerful step against big-money insiders from out of town forcing change down their collective throats. If Rex Sinquefield does it, who’s next? Will St. Louis tell Nixa, Neosho and Macon what to do without those citizens’ consent?
eMailbag: On Parson the Dealmaker
Parson best dealmaker in 10 years?? He has a majority in both chambers. Why was there ever a filibuster?
St. Louis Public Radio seeks Politics Reporter. “The St. Louis region is a dream come true for the inveterate political reporter. There are more than enough governments to cover (over 90!) not to mention our statewide and federal representatives. The stories are vast and varied and St. Louis Public Radio is looking for a reporter to explore and explain it all….” See the ad here.
Steven Tilley and Thomas Robbins added AM Medical Marketing LLC. AM Medical is a member LLC formed earlier this month. Amy Medders is the organizer listed. John Diehl’s contact information is on the form.
Uniting Missouri PAC - $7,500 from H&R Block.
Uniting Missouri PAC - $25,000 from Drury Development Corporation.
Committee for KC Jobs - $15,000 from KC BizPAC The Political Action Committee of Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
Happy birthday to Deanna Hemphill.