MOScout Daily Update: Gregory for Plocher - Parson to Australia - The Biz Case for Medicaid Expansion and more....

Gregory Endorses Plocher for Majority Leader

Press release:  In a joining of forces, Rep. David Gregory has made the decision to endorse Rep. Dean Plocher for Majority Floor Leader.  Rep. Gregory stated: "After much discussion, consideration and prayer, I’m proud to announce my endorsement of Rep. Dean Plocher for Majority Floor Leader. He has demonstrated to the caucus that he has strong leadership qualities and will champion conservative values and principles. I am grateful to my family, supporters and friends in the House who encouraged and supported my race for Floor Leader.  With my responsibilities to my district, a rapidly growing law practice and my wedding around the corner, I believe I can best serve my district and our Republican Caucus in other significant ways. I have had the privilege of serving in the House with Rep. Plocher for the past four years. Rep. Plocher has demonstrated integrity and great statesmanship while chairing the General Laws committee. He is a hardworking legislator who possess the right leadership skills to move our caucus agenda forward.  Without hesitation, he is my choice to represent and support our caucus as Majority Floor Leader.”

Rep. Plocher stated: “I am grateful for the endorsement from Rep. Gregory, who I have proudly served with in the House. He is strong and effective legislator and a great friend.  Rep. Gregory has a great future ahead of him in service to our state.  I look forward to working closely with Rep. Gregory throughout our service in the House”

What It Means

Plocher and Gregory were both considered strong contenders for the top spot.  But they were also – both from St. Louis County – dividing that suburban base.  Though it’s still early this would seem to consolidates Plocher’s status as front-runner.

From April here’s the Hallway Index’s take on the House Floor Leader Race…

Dean Plocher…. 34.%

David Gregory… 26.9%

Curtis Trent…… 26.9%

J Eggleston……. 7.7%

Someone else….. 3.8%

Sample of Comments

•           Dean has broke out an early lead, but very early in the process.

•           I can’t imagine it will be a four-way race by election day, so the departure of one of these candidates will create a huge swing in odds.      

•           Plocher and Gregory might split the St. Louis vote, Trent will lock up the SWMO base, Eggleston has done a steady job and has a good relationship with Vescovo.

•           This is obviously a race between Gregory and Plocher and the one that can make the best connection with this freshman class will pull it out. The hesitancy of a large portion of this freshman class to consider education reform could play a factor if one of the candidates can tap into that it could bring a large block of votes.  

 

Parson to Australia

Press release: Governor Mike Parson will depart for Australia for a second international Trade Mission. Australia is Missouri’s ninth largest international market with over $308 million in exports in 2018. The Governor will make several stops in Melbourne and Sydney to engage with infrastructure leaders, meet with worldwide business executives, and promote Missouri as an ideal location for business. Building on Governor Parson’s infrastructure and workforce development priorities, one of the primary goals of the Trade Mission is to examine the feasibility of using an infrastructure asset recycling program in Missouri to raise revenue and strengthen the state’s infrastructure….

The Talk

Among the many business leaders Parson will meet with, the one name that has some folks talking is Macquarie.  They’ve been involved in the talk around privatizing St. Louis’ airport, and have expertise in “public-private partnerships” to build transportation infrastructure.  Bringing in profit-driven investors to manage public assets tends to make progressives nervous.  But in a state where voters have repeatedly rejected taxes as a source of funding infrastructure, it makes sense for the governor to looking at it.

FYI

Macquarie Bank of Australia’s lobbyist in Jefferson City: James Bowers, Mark Bryant, Patricia Jensen, Aaron Marsh, Bill Moore, and Mike White.

Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets Inc.’s former lobbyists (stopped representation at end of session): Jeff Brooks, Cynthia Gamble, Kathryn Gamble, Bill Gamble, David Jackson, Sonette Magnus, Jorgen Schlemeier, Sarah Schlemeier, David Sweeney, Sarah Topp, and Olivia Wilson.

 

Economist Says MO Should Expand Medicaid

Springfield News Leader reports that “Missouri's low taxes and diverse manufacturing sector are strong economic assets for the Show-Me State, but that the state lags in educational achievements and that embracing Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act would likely lower health care premiums… Michael Hicks and two colleagues at Ball State's Center for Business and Economic Research released the scorecard Wednesday, which crunches econometric data to grade all 50 states from A to F on the health of their manufacturing sectors… Missouri got a C overall on a grade card that included several breakout ratings. Missouri got an A for tax climate, meaning its tax burden was among the eight lowest in the 50 states. Hicks said Missouri manufacturers would benefit from something state lawmakers have long resisted: Medicaid expansion. It would help lower health care costs, he said, which play a ‘huge role’ in labor costs for factories.

“Hicks pointed to Indiana's track record, noting that Indiana and Missouri ‘share a lot of the same fiscal outlook.’ In 2015, then-Gov. Mike Pence signed a version of Medicaid expansion into law, and that state's health care cost outlook has improved in the years since, Hicks said.

The Pence expansion was a conservative take on the Obamacare original, according to news outlets like Politico, requiring new Medicaid patients to contribute to their care…”

 

McDowell’s Schweich Conspiracy?

Saundra McDowell, who lost the auditor’s race last year, made this odd comment in a recent speech.  See it here.   

I wish I could have won for you all, not for me because I think it would have been a horrible job. And I don’t even know what happened to Tom Schweich, but I told [husband] Jonathon several times that you never know I might have been the next one because I was going to go back and try to audit the same things he was auditing. So maybe it was a blessing in disguise…

 

Wannabe Judges

The Sixteenth Circuit Judicial Commission announced the applicants for the circuit judge vacancy in Division 17 of the Jackson County circuit court created by the retirement of Judge Jack R. Grate… Jessica M. Agnelly, Cory L. Atkins, P. Benjamin Cox, Michael J. Hunt, Justin J. Kalwei, Susan E. Long, Elizabeth S. Lynch, Alicia C. O’Connell, and R. Travis Willingham

 

eMailbag on O’Laughlin Jail Concerns

[Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin’s comments are] startling and shows just how much reform is needed in the system and how much education needs to be done around criminal justice and court reform.  Jail may very well be a deterrent for crime.  However, bond is posted before someone has their day in court and predicates someone's freedom in that time on whether or not they have money.  Her comments demonstrate a presumption of guilt when the exact opposite is the bedrock of our justice system, whether or not it makes the sheriffs unhappy.  That is why we have checks and balances.  Sheriffs should be enforcing the law, not interpreting it however they see fit.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Kit Bond added EWR Radar Systems, and Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority.

Mohammad Dehghani added University of Missouri System.

Christopher Maples deleted University of Missouri System.

Chet Steckler deleted Purdue Pharma.

Jeremy LaFaver deleted The Opportunity Trust.

Jasmine Wells deleted her clients.

 

$5K+Contributions

House Republican Campaign Committee, Inc - $10,000 from Spire.

House Republican Campaign Committee, Inc - $15,000 from Xcaliber International Ltd LLC.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Shannon Weber and Bill Reiboldt.