Gov. Jay Nixon’s office just sent out a press release stating that this year’s special session will begin on September 6.
It’s going to be a busy session. Not only will the special session focus on economic development issues - such as creating a series of tax credits to entice a “China hub” at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport - but it will also allow for legislation to:
- Enact legislation moving Missouri’s Presidential primary to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March of each Presidential election year.
- Enact legislation authorizing the transition of governing the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department from a board of police commissioners to the City of St. Louis; and
- Authorize tax credits to help attract amateur sporting events to Missouri.
The second item is notable, as Nixon had been coy about whether he would include so-called “local control” legislation in his special session call. Nixon had already said he would include moving the state’s presidential primary in the call.
Will local control and Aerotropolis make it?
With only a few short hour left in the 2011 legislative session, those two notable issues still hang in the balance. Jo Mannies and I have more in our article for the St. Louis Beacon:
State Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, said late Thursday that progress has been made — but work still remains — to forge a House-Senate agreement on state tax credit revisions that include $360 million in breaks aimed at boosting the St. Louis region’s effort to persuade China to locate a cargo hub at Lambert St. Louis International Airport.
The deal also has been linked by Senate leaders to any approval by that chamber of a separate bill granting St. Louis city officials local control over the city’s police department, which has been under state supervision for 150 years.
Schmitt (right) — the Senate’s leader of the China hub effort, dubbed “Aerotropolis” — cautioned that House negotiators’ tax-break proposals may not be acceptable to the full Senate. The deal is dead if it is not approved by both chambers by 6 p.m. today, when this legislative session ends.
Lack of an agreement on tax credits likely also will doom St. Louis’ quest for local control.
Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, is a medical doctor by trade. But he seems to have something in common with a certain literary doctor.
As Rebecca Berg of the Post-Dispatch reported, Schaaf read a poem on the floor of the Missouri Senate to elaborate on his opposition to “local control” of the St. Louis Police Department. It involved a fictional conversation between St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Kansas City Mayor-elect Sly James.
The freshman lawmaker’s prose seemed to resemble Theodore Geisel, known to the world as Dr. Seuss. Click on the audio clip to hear it.
The St. Louis Police Officers Association is suing over a ballot item abolishing a governor-appointed board overseeing the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. It’s the issue commonly referred to as ‘local control’ of the STL Police Department.
More from St. Louis Beacon reporter Jo Mannies:
According to the association, the suit “alleges that the ballot language and the cost projections associated with the initiatives are unfair, deceptive and misleading.” It also asserts that state Auditor Thomas Schweich “did not comply with statutory requirements” because his office, according to the group, failed to provide an accurate ballot statement on the financial impact of the proposals.
The initiative petition proposals earlier were filed by James Deutsch, a lawyer aligned with wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield, who supports local control. “We’re simply not going to be intimidated by City Hall or their millionaire friends,” said St. Louis Police Officers Association Business Manager Jeff Roorda in a statement.
Nancy Rice, spokeswoman for the group “A Safer Missouri” (bankrolled by Sinquefield) that is advancing the initiative petition effort, said the suit was expected. “I am not surprised and I’m not concerned,” she said.
Click here to read more of the story.
So what issue is Sen. Tim Green, D-Spanish Lake, sick of hearing about?
“Local control” of the St. Louis Police Department.
Why is sick of that issue? Click on the audio clip to hear more.
As noted in the post below, Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, has been a critic of a push to establish “local control” of the St. Louis Police Department. The freshman senator expressed her misgivings about the proposal, for example, in this op-ed from the St. Louis American.
The above audio clip is an exchange between Chappelle-Nadal and Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, after the measure hit the Senate floor. Sen. Joe Keaveny’s legislation is expected to encounter substantial opposition in the Senate, even though it passed the Missouri House by a wide margin.
Sen. Joe Keaveny’s legislation that would, among other things, remove the governor’s power to appoint members of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners. It colloquially known as the “local control” bill.
It’s an issue that’s effectively forged surprising alliances throughout the Missouri political universe. Supporters include Democrats - including St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed and Keaveny - as well as powerful Republicans like House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryvile, and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.
But the measure also attracted a wide set of opponents, such as members of the St. Louis Tea Party, Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, and Gov. Jay Nixon. And it’s likely to face a filibuster throughout the day.
The above audio clip is an exchange between Keaveny and Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit. Kraus unsuccessfully tried to attach an amendment that would include the other city without local control - Kansas City - in the legislation.
With all the talk about St. Louis trying to establish local control of its police department, one may forget that Kansas City is under a similar arrangement.
While House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, said the legislature will probably not seek to establish local control for the state’s biggest city, the Kansas City Star argues in an editorial that leaders “should immediately begin looking at how local control could best work here.”
From the editorial:
Read the rest here.
The Missouri House last week voted 109- 46 to place the St. Louis Police Department under control of that city’s government. A number of Kansas City lawmakers voted for the bill.
But the enthusiasm for change apparently stops at the Kansas City limits. The official response to the suggestion of local control of Kansas City police is a collective shudder.
Many of the same area legislators who voted for St. Louis to have local control of its department say they oppose a change for Kansas City. And mayoral candidates Mike Burke and Sly James say the time isn’t right for a change.
We disagree. If the St. Louis bid for local control wins approval from the Missouri Senate and Gov. Jay Nixon, Kansas City would be placed in the embarrassing position of being the nation’s only city not considered responsible enough to run its own department.
The above audio clip features Dana Loesch speaking after House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, ended his interview on her 97.1 FM talk show.
Click here to listen to Tilley’s interview with Loesch.
There’s been a lingering spat over the last few days between the St. Louis Tea Party and House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, over the issue of local control of the St. Louis Police Department.
According to the Post-Dispatch, Tilley - a strong local control proponent - accused opponents of the measure of engaging in “race baiting.” That sparked an uproar among some members of the STL Tea Party, which has members who oppose local control.
So, Tilley went on the Dana Loesch’s radio show today to discuss the matter. You can click on the audio file to hear the interview. In the next post, you’ll hear Loesch making comments after Tilley departed from the airwaves.
Even though a House bill to establish local control of the St. Louis Police Department passed by a large margin, it may encounter some trouble in the Missouri Senate.
That’s because a Senate committee attached an amendment to Sen. Joe Keaveny’s bill that would reduce the amount of wards and aldermen in St. Louis City.
A Missouri Senate committee has approved legislation that would restore local control to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, but not before adding a provision that could also kill it.
The amendment would reduce the number of city aldermen in St. Louis to 14, and the number of wards from 28 to seven.
The move comes one day after a related bill easily passed the Missouri House.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay - a proponent of local control - opined on the development in a blog post entitled “Progress, Poison Pills, and Trojan Horses.”
“The version of the bill approved by the committee contains a provision of dubious validity that makes returning the department conditional on the size of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen being cut in half,” Slay wrote. “(There will be other poison pills and Trojan Horses: passing a bill is long-and-winding process. What is clear is that the concept of local control of the St. Louis police department enjoys of the support of many representatives and senators.)”
As noted in the STL Public Radio story, opponents of the measure - such as Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City - say the bill could lead to reduced benefits for police officers.