Sheela's blog

Follow the Money: "Right to Work" Edition

So-called "Right to Work" legislation will be rushed through the Missouri House and Senate early this session, which began Wednesday. This anti-worker, wage-lowering legislation was the first thing House Speaker Todd Richardson mentioned in his opening remarks at the dias.

GOP and Ethics: Was it Ever Meant to be?

On Monday, a federal holiday, the House Republican Conference in DC privately voted to strip the Office of Congressional Ethics of its teeth.

Why does this matter to Missourians?

Well, turns out Rep. Sam Graves, who represents most of northern Missouri, is a case study for Republicans wanting to weaken the Office.

From McClatchy DC:

Greitens' Transition Team Raises More Questions

It’s a week before inauguration and the public still doesn’t know the totality of Greitens’ transition team.

Odd, because public taxes pays for the transition team. Greitens ran on an anti-corruption platform, so it comes across as very disingenuous when he won’t be transparent about his use of taxpayer funds.

As of now, the public knows that the Greitens’ transition team hired Jimmy Soni, who left the Huffington Post while being investigated for sexual harassment involving interns.

Greitens' Health Director Pick Likely Not the Best to Deal with Missouri's Lead Problem

Last week, Gov. Eric Greitens announced his pick to oversee the Department of Health and Senior Services, Dr. Randall Williams. Dr. Williams comes from North Carolina's health department and brings with him a legacy marred by controversy.

From a WBTV news article in 2016:  

Update: Greitens Transition Team Working Under Gag Order

Two days after the election, Governor-elect Greitens gave details on his transition team.

Two weeks after that, the public received information about the inaugural ball. 

Bipartisan Birth Control Access Legislation Pre-Filed Again

Last year, then-Rep. Sheila Solon, a Republican from Blue Springs, introduced HB 1679. Calling it the "ultimate pro-life" bill, Solon's bill would have allowed pharmacists to write three-year prescriptions for oral contraceptive pills after receiving a doctor's prescription. Her bill would have allowed minors who had been prescribed the pill to get follow up prescriptions from a pharmacist. As in other parts of the country, pharmacists would need to undergo additional training to participate.

It's Like Sen. Kraus WANTS to Make Missouri More Like Kansas.

Earlier this week, Sen. Will Kraus doubled down on slashing the corporate income tax. 

From the AP

A Missouri lawmaker says Republican President-elect Donald Trump's promises to slash corporate income taxes could lend momentum to his proposal to eliminate the taxes completely in the state, a move that would make Missouri one of few states without business income taxes.

Politicians Pad Accounts Before Contribution Limits Kick In

Last month voters approved Amendment 2, which places a $2,600 limit on state campaign contributions per person per election.

Yesterday, December 8th, was the last day to donate unlimited sums of money. (Assuming the lawsuit challenging the legality of Amendment 2 fails.)

Since the beginning of the month, the Missouri Ethics Commission has recorded 118 separate contributions over $5000.

Pre-Filing Starts with Attacks on Workers

Yesterday marked the beginning of pre-filing legislation for the 2017 legislative session. Between the House and Senate, elected officials have so far filed 15 pieces of potentially anti-worker legislation.

They included a paycheck deception bill, five bills dismantling the prevailing wage, and two bills to make Missouri a so-called “right to work” state....all designed to weaken unions, silence workers, and lower wages across the board.

UPDATE: Turns out, Greitens Got Almost $700k from Charter School Proponents

After publishing the blog post on Gov.-elect Greiten’s $100,000 in donations from the DeVos family, Progress Missouri learned that he’s taken almost $700,000 from donors with special charter school interests. Randy Turner, a former teacher, newspaper reporter and editor, delved into these connections on his political blog, The Turner Report.

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