Driving the Day
From the governor’s media advisory: 1:30 p.m. Governor Parson to Meet with Local Officials on Plan to Sharpen Missouri's Economic Development Tools at Wentzville City Hall… Media avail immediately following meeting (approximately 2:15 p.m.)
Look for the formal rollout of the incentive package for General Motors to make new investments in their Wentzville plant.
Post-Dispatch reports that the plan “calls for GM to receive tax credits if it makes at least $500 million in improvements to the plant within three years. The state tax credits would be worth $25 million. If the company makes another $250 million in improvements to the plant, it could qualify for another $25 million. The plan also contains elements of Parson's "Fast Track" job training scholarship program.”
Conservative Caucus Stands Again
Sens. Denny Hoskins and Bill Eigel again took several hours of floor time as they blocked House bills from being considered on the Senate floor.
This is part of the horns-locking over a proposed prescription drug monitoring program. Rep. Holly Rehder has championed that legislation and is tying up legislation of Senate Conservative Caucus members until they allow a Senate vote on the proposal.
After a few hours, the Conservative Caucus sat down and allowed the Senate to work on some House bills. It’s said that they received assurances that PDMP wouldn’t come up in the Senate today.
· One lobbyist doesn’t see why Rehder would blink. “If she lets their bills go, how would that improve PDMP’s chances.”
· It appears that Rehder has the full backing on Speaker Elijah Haahr on this issue.
· But this could be another issue where there’s daylight between the speaker and Floor Leader Rob Vescovo. And that could contribute to an increasingly complicated final week and half.
· The way out of this mess could be that it’s in everyone self-interest to untangle it. The simple truth of the building: “Everyone has things they want to get done.”
Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin writing on Facebook (while in the hospital visiting her mom who took a fall) gave some indication of the ground covered in the thus-far fruitless negotiations on PDMP: In the interest of "compromise" some have offered support if the only drug monitored was opioids, if doctors and pharmacists were required to use it, if data could not be shared under any circumstance, if there was a sunset provision and if there were criteria stated to measure effectiveness. None of these though are acceptable to the bill sponsors so it is at a stalemate.
Galloway Asks for AG 1A Opinion
Auditor Nicole Galloway requested a legal opinion from the attorney general’s office to determine if the governor’s office can use the First Amendment to prevent disclosures required under the state Sunshine law. Folks are assuming that the governor is redacting the information because they’re embarrassed by the amount of contact they’re having with lobbyists. Either way it’s not a good look for the governor. We’ll see….
From the request: In Missouri Law, there is not a specifically enumerated exception in the Missouri Revised Statues that would permit the office to close or redact information under the First Amendment. Additionally, there is no exception imposed by any judge in Missouri caselaw that would permit such an exception solely on First Amendment grounds.
This question nonetheless arises because a Missouri state government entity has asserted that the First Amendment in and of itself requires redaction of information, effectively rendering the Missouri Sunshine Law, and the state's public policy that records of governmental entities be open to the public, unconstitutional.
This government entity appears to redact information that identifies information related to individuals conducting or seeking to conduct business before the entity, lobbying that entity, or otherwise attempting to influence any action taken by the government entity, claiming that the First Amendment protects this information… This position provides greater protections to those lobbying or conducting business with the government entity than is given to individuals who are referenced in arrest and incident report records.
Mini STL Mergers Coming?
One observer of the Better Together merger effort remains optimistic about change on a smaller scale… “The next reform group won't start meeting in 10-12 years. 10-12 weeks is probably closer… Consolidation of municipal courts and unaccredited police departments… are as popular as ever…”
Miller Audit Shows Lapses
Press release: A report from Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has found numerous problems in the Lawrence County town of Miller. During the citizen-requested audit of the city, auditors were made aware of a criminal investigation and, as a result, issued a separate report outlining concerns with operations of the Miller Police Department…. Based on the findings of the audits, both the city and the department received ratings of “poor.” The former police chief and his brother, a former lieutenant with the department, currently face criminal charges… The former police chief, Joshua Bruce, was terminated by the city in May 2017 for preparing and approving false timesheets showing time worked by his brother, Randall, who was a lieutenant in the department. He also was terminated for failing to prepare fuel records, submitting unsupported mileage reimbursements, making unauthorized credit card purchases, and using city funds to purchase surplus property for personal use. Randall Bruce was terminated on the same date for false timesheets…
Miller is represented by Sen. David Sater and Rep. Mike Moon.
Holsy for Dreamers
Post Dispatch reports on Sen. Jason Holsman working a budget compromise… “Four years after the Legislature directed public colleges and universities to charge undocumented immigrants out-of-state or international tuition rates, lawmakers on Tuesday reversed course… The Senate had stripped the restrictive language, but the House had kept the in-state tuition and scholarship bans in its version of the budget. Sen. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City, offered what he called ‘compromise’ language — allowing in-state tuition but still banning scholarships for the students — as the conference committee was debating funding for higher education... Holsman, before the hearing, lined up support from some GOP colleagues, who joined with Democrats to put the new language in place.”
Here's the irony of Sen. Hoskins' highlighting Hailey's Law as an example of one of the bills stuck in House Rules: For two days, he's been preventing the Senate from taking action on Hailey's Law by controlling the floor and not allowing the Senate to move a bill that includes it forward in the legislative process. Those following it know that it is included in SS HB 397 which needs to go to conference committee to work out a word change and then one final vote before going to the governor.
American Heart Association seeks State Government Relations Director in Missouri. “In order to be considered for this role, you must live in the state and be within commute of the State Capital. The State Government Relations Director is responsible for serving as the primary representative of the AHA to the assigned state legislature and relevant state agencies to generate awareness and support for the AHA’s public policy agenda. You will strategically coordinate and oversee efforts to further the state public policy priorities of the American Heart Association…” See the ad here.
Lee Pitman formed a candidate committee (Pitman For Missouri) to run for House 99 as a Republican. Her treasurer is Sue Allen.
Jeffery Brooks, Cynthia Gamble, Kathryn Gamble, William Gamble, Jorgen Schlemeier, Sarah Schlemeier, Sarah Topp, and Olivia Wilson added American Prison Data Systems.
Aaron Baker added City of Clarksville.
Jeff Rainford added STL Land Development, LLC, and MC District Cooling.
Happy birthdays to former Sen. Tom Dempsey and former Rep. Jeanie Lauer.
Hope for Hayden Tonight
Folks will gather for a fundraiser tonight at Revel at 6:30PM to support Dustin Backes’ son, Hayden, who has been battling medical issues. (Here’s an article from a few years ago).
From the email blast….
Hello everyone and thank you for your kind comments over the past week. I know we will come together to do something good for the Backes family while at the same time enriching our own lives. We are confirmed for this Wednesday evening (May 8) from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at Revel. The Trust is being formed and will be titled “Hope for Hayden." Michael Grote and Caleb Jones have been extremely gracious with their time to establish the trust and work with MEC. Based on guidance from MEC, we ask that any checks be made out to "Immaculate Conception Church - Loose Creek." Cash is also acceptable.