Calvin Coolidge Quote

We the People of Johnson County Missouri, Sunday, January 28, 2024 🔔🔔 Remarkably Clear Explanation (Clear as a Bell!) of Last Week’s Senate Happenings!

Hi Folks!

Amy Castro posted the link for this Newsletter from Senator Mike Moon on our fb page, and I thought I’d do a copy and paste for us here. Reason being, it’s the CLEAREST explanation of what happened in the Senate last week that I’ve seen so far! It’s a bit lengthy, but remarkably easy to read and understand!

Senator Moon sends out his Newsletter regularly. I think it’s weekly, but not sure on that. I DID however, go ahead and subscribe to it, so I’ll know how often it comes very soon! I encourage you to subscribe. The subscription link is in the Newsletter below.

https://mailrag56.substack.com/subscribe?utm_source=home-sitemap

And without further ado, here is the information!

I encourage you to subscribe!!! Oh wait…did I already say that…? 🤔🙂

View this email in your browser

Your Power Isn’t As Great As Mine
 
Following last week’s discussions on the floor of the MO Senate, decisions were made by the senate leaders to punish (some might consider the move disciplinary, others may say the actions were punitive) some vocal members of the senate.
 
Four members of the newly formed Freedom Caucus were stripped of their committee chairmanships.  One of the four was also removed from some other committee seats.  In addition, the four were banned from parking in the prestigious Capitol basement garage.
 
Actions such as the ones taken are typically intended to cause those punished to ‘sit down and shut up’ (SD&SU)  I know these four individuals well enough to know that not only will they not SD&SU, but they will be emboldened to continue to stand and be heard.
 
So, What’s This All About Anyway?
 
At the annual winter Republican Senate Caucus, it was decided that the top priority for the upcoming session would be initiative petition (I.P.) reform (see previous Capitol reports for detailed explanations).
 
In order to get to a floor discussion of I.P. reform, the bill(s) must first be referred to a committee.  (I looked at a past session to see when bills, like I.P. were referred and found that referrals were done on the second day of session.  In reality, nothing prevents bills to be referred on the first day of session (that is, when committees are already formed – typically during the second regular session of each general assembly).
 
So, a logically thinking person might surmise that if a priority exists and a bill has been filed, it would make sense the bills would be referred as soon as possible.
 
In this particular case, though, no indication was given to signal the bills would be referred.       
 
So, as I wrote in my last report, a motion was made to move the bill from the Second Read calendar to the Formal Perfection Calendar.  This motion, while within the rules of the MO senate, is seldom used.  Similar to a ‘Discharge Petition’ (House procedure), the bill is DOA (Dead on Arrival) because the leaders are likely not in favor of the bill.  If they were, the bill would have been moved along the process.  This is the case in the motion to move a senate bill straight to the floor by a single motion.  If the motion had been allowed to come to a vote, it would have failed because the leaders and the majority of the senate don’t want to deliberate the I.P. bill (at least not until the bill has been heard in committee).
 
Here’s something else to ‘throw’ in the mix: this is, at least, the third consecutive year I.P. reform has been talked about in the MO General Assembly.  So, the question is, “Has I.P. been properly vetted?”  Some would say it has, while others might say it has not.  Still others, might conclude that if a bill were brought up for debate without being heard in a committee, it might not be fully vetted or doing so would not allow the pubic to weigh-in.
 
The truth is that, in my experience, often bills are ‘heard’ in a committee and the topic at hand is not fully vetted.
 
Why is it important to reform the initiative process?  If you recall Proposition 3 (legalization of marijuana), the constitutional amendment passed primarily with 16 legislative districts approving the measure.  Out of 163 legislative districts, how can it be that when only 16 voted in favor, the constitution was amended?
 
Consider that these districts include the Kansas City Metro, Columbia, St. Louis, and the greater Springfield areas.  These four population centers drove the votes.  And, the rural areas were outvoted.  If, in a national vote, when the nation elects a president, we allowed the votes cast in California, Texas, New York, and other heavily populated states to elect the president, Missouri and other less populated states would be outvoted.
 
Unless a change in the I.P. ratification process is adopted, it is possible that our constitution will be amended to include a right to abortion.  So, the holdup in the senate, while directed toward I.P. reform, is really a battle, in part, to keep a constitutional right to abortion out of Missouri.

Concurrent Majority Ratification (CMR) Explanation

Follow this link to a previous Capitol Report and scroll down to SJR 33:
https://mailchi.mp/f79dc841043b/state-of-the-state?e=dd92e7cd94

Push Back
 
The decision to ‘kick’ the members off their committees and move their parking spaces was announced by press conference shortly before the session on Tuesday.  Without much time to prepare a response, the four took to the floor to vent.
 
Another important element in this debacle is gubernatorial appointments.  Woven throughout the web of state agencies are thousands of boards and commissions – some of which are accompanied by per diems and ‘necessary’ expenses and others with lucrative salaries.  Many appointments require confirmation by the senate.  Sometimes, appointments made when the legislature is out of session, the confirmations must be complete within 30 days of the convening of the legislature.  If this does not happen, the appointee is banned for life.  This window closes on Friday, February 3, 2024.
 
The gubernatorial appointments can be used (is being used in this case) as leverage to move the I.P. bills along the process.  The main point of the filibusters is to bring the caucus priority to a vote – an early vote.
 
My Impression
 
I met with Senate Pro Tem Rowden on Wednesday morning.  The topic was the removal of the senators from committees and re-assignment of parking spaces, among other things.
 
Since the Pro Tem mentioned the conversation during a floor inquiry, I am at liberty to write about it.
 
When asked my opinion, I told Pro Tem Rowden that (since he has stated he shares the same faith as I do in Jesus Christ), he should pray about whether or not he should reverse his decision about the committees and parking spaces.  (Just think, if he would re-instate these four members, the public would likely sing his praises.  This act would – similar to the taking of committees – be unprecedented!)  He told me that he could not because he was threatened by other caucus members.  Specifically, members told him if he did not follow through on their plan, he would not retain his position of Pro Tem.  It looks as if we have a deep state within the MO Senate.
 
My reply was I don’t know all he has to deal with as Pro Tem, but if I were in his position, I hope I would have the fortitude to tell the senate ‘bullies’ to take my job!
 
Bills Referred – Every Single One of ‘Em
 
On Wednesday, Governor Parson delivered his State of the State address.  Not much business was attended to in the senate.
 
On Thursday, however, the typical referral of bills took place, but it was not limited to the usual 50 or so referrals.  All the bills on the second read calendar were referred.  This, in my experience, was extraordinary!  As a comparison, in the House, the majority of bills are referred on the last day of session.  Last year, a large number of bills were held up by the President Pro Tem – and referred so late in session to ensure they would not pass.
 
It appears the pressure applied and leveraging the gubernatorial appointments caused some positive movement.
 
You Talk Too Much
 
The following morning, reports of another ‘plan’ to expel a member from the senate was revealed.  Oh, boy!
 
You can hear the dialogue (actually, it was a monologue) here:
https://media.senate.mo.gov/DebateArchive/2024/012524.mp3
 
Forward the recording to 1:38:09.
 
Why is it Important to Vote Early on I.P.?
 
In order for the Concurrent Majority Ratification (CMR) to be effective for the August ballot (if initiative petitions are on the ballot) the new ratification requirement must be approved by voters 30 days before the election.  The cutoff for the August 6, 2024, election is July 7, 2024.
 
Bills left to follow the traditional timeline would not meet the July 7 deadline because bills passed by the last day of session are enacted on August 28.  So, an I.P. bill must be passed early and the Governor must call for a special election to be held by or before July 7, 2024.
 
Where Do I Stand?
 
Although, I am not a member of the Freedom Caucus, I stand with them in their attempt to pass and I.P. bill as soon as possible.
 
Please Share
 
Please consider sharing this report with your friends.  And, if you received my report from a friend or other source, please consider subscribing.  Send a message to: Mike.Moon@senate.mo.gov and type Subscribe in the subject line to be added to the distribution list.
 
Archives
 
Would you like to read a past issue?  Click on the link below the banner with my photo (View in Browser).  A page should open which will give you the opportunity to open the archives and choose from past reports.
 
If you can’t find the one you’re looking for, let me know and I’ll try to help you find it.

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