No Dems So Far in Senate 19
Columbia Tribune reports that “State Rep. Kip Kendrick, the Democratic Party’s best-funded potential challenger to Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden in next year’s 19th District state Senate race, will instead seek re-election to his fourth and final term in the Missouri House…”
What It Means
· This is very good news for Senate Republicans.
· There are very few targets for Senate Dems if they want to try to pick up a seat this cycle. The inability – so far – to recruit a top tier candidate is reminiscent of the GOP’s whiff last cycle against Schupp.
· Additionally, the Columbia is an expensive market. A credible candidate would force Rowden to raise and spend perhaps $1 million and take some of his attention (and resources) away from other races – like trying to swipe Senate 1 from Dems.
· But… it’s possible that Dems aren’t anxious to make Rowden a target. “Most Dems in the Senate would rather have Rowden there than not. The alternative for them and how they would be treated by another Majority Leader isn't great from their perspective…”
G-Men Interview OA
KCStar reports that the feebees are taking stock of the state’s procurement process as implementation of the new medical marijuana industry begins. See it here.
Three key members of Gov. Mike Parson’s administration who are overseeing the roll-out of Missouri’s medical marijuana program have been interviewed in recent months by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Each say the interviews were not investigative in nature, but were routine meet-and-greets the FBI requested to get to know the people in charge of the new — and potentially lucrative — industry…
What It Means
Probably nothing, but there’s an undercurrent of discomfort that in the rush to make a killing in the new industry some folks might be willing to blur ethical lines. Just having the FBI around reminds everyone to stay on the straight and narrow.
DOR Seeks to Modernize Driver Licensing Tech
From the RFP (see it here): [The state] has issued this Request for Proposal (RFP) for the purpose of securing consulting services to assist the state in the procurement process for a new fully-integrated Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing (MVDL) Business and Technology Modernization solution for the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR)….
DOR’s Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing (MVDL) Division and ITSD have made the strategic decision to modernize core legacy systems and simplify business processes. The current architecture of these systems represents a long-term business liability… Without modernization, costs for supporting current outdated systems will continue to increase.
MVDL annually collects nearly $1 billion from motor vehicle and driver licensing fees/taxes, providing a significant portion of our state’s transportation revenue. There are over 50 disparate systems with limited communication and interfaces restricting data analytics capabilities… Systems are difficult to quickly modify for legislative changes or emerging business needs such as process efficiencies and online services. A lot of extra work may be required for a single change due to the number of systems that may need modification…
An integrated Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Business and Technology Modernization Solution is expected to:
a. Reduce: the number of phone calls received, transaction and data entry errors, and time and cost to implement legislation;
b. Increase: efficiencies, voluntary compliance, public safety, data analytics, turnaround time, transaction processing speed, integration with license offices;
c. Expand: online self-service options, functionality for law enforcement; and
d. Improve: customer satisfaction, identification and collection of taxes, accuracy and efficiency of cash management fund distribution, data reporting.
The Easy Part
Governor Mike Parson signed Executive Order 19-13 “creating the Missouri Health Insurance Innovation Task Force. The Governor’s action aims to curb rising healthcare premiums and increase access and competition in health insurance markets for all Missourians…The Task Force is challenged to develop concepts that will improve access to affordable insurance options and healthcare services within the state while reducing the state’s uninsured rates, with an emphasis on increasing access to healthcare in rural areas of the state. Currently, 101 counties in Missouri have only one insurance carrier offering health insurance plans in the individual market….” See the order here.
Get Well Soon
Rep. Steve Lynch writes on Facebook that he’s headed under the knife this morning. “I will be having major back surgery, will be in the hospital 2-4 days depending on my level of pain, and then home bound for a month of recovery. I sure will miss getting out and seeing everyone for a while…”
· Former Rep. Curt Dougherty, now councilman in Independence, is under fire for inappropriate comments about “Middle Easterners.” See it here.
· St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann appointed Matthew Seeds as Director of the County’s Department of Information Systems. See it here.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, Inc., “ACLU-MO” seeks a full-time Legislative Associate. “The ideal candidate will be an outstanding advocate who is able to effectively convey the mission, policies and advocacy efforts of the ACLU/ACLU-MO to a variety of constituencies, ranging from elected officials and policy makers to local community members. The Legislative Associate will be part of the ACLU-MO Policy Department, reporting to the Legislative and Policy Director. The Legislative Associate will supplement the lobbying efforts of the Legislative and Policy Director. The Legislative Associate will focus on local legislative initiatives and will work in collaboration with the Legislative and Policy Director to execute the public policy agenda of the ACLU-MO…” See it here.
Western Missouri Leadership Fund - $9,000 from HealthPAC.
Keep Government Accountable - $10,000 from John Ferring.
American Dream PAC - $12,500 from Timothy Drury.
Freedom Incorporated - $10,000 from Committee for KC Jobs.
Happy birthdays to Becky Cook, Gary Otten, Charlie Davis, and Jim Gwinner.