Among other things, I asked House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey, R-Clay County, about eliminating funding for the chef for the state’s Governor’s Mansion.
Silvey has been advocating the reduction for several years and this was the first year he was actually successful in cutting the roughly $45,000 expenditure.
The Missouri House overrode Gov. Jay Nixon’s redistricting veto on Wednesday, a move that could put U.S. Reps. Russ Carnahan in a tough electoral position.
The map the legislature approved last week would place St. Louis City into one congressional district, a move that places Carnahan, D-St. Louis City, and U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis City, in the same district. The map also carves up Jefferson County into three congressional districts, creates a giant northern Missouri district for U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Tarkio, and attaches three rural counties in central Missouri to U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s Kansas City-centric district.
Nixon vetoed the map on Saturday, stating in a message that he was “hopeful that in the next two weeks the Legislature can produce a map that will reflect a better representation for all regions of the state.” But House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, indicated that the House would proceed with a veto override.
That scenario unfolded on Wednesday, when the House voted 109-44 to override the map. Every Republican voted for the override – including several GOP lawmakers who voted against the map last week. They were joined by four Democrats – Reps. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis City, Penny Hubbard, D-St. Louis City, Michael Brown, D-Kansas City and Rep. Jonas Hughes, D-Kansas City. The Senate – which will convene at 3 p.m. – still needs to override the map.
Getting a House override is critical, since Republicans are now four votes short of a veto-proof majority. Republicans have a 26-8 majority in the Senate, three more than needed for an override.
At least one Democrat indicated on the floor that an effort to override Nixon would not be taken kindly.
“There are some donkeys with very long memories,” said Rep. Scott Sifton, D-Afton.
My apologies for the lack of updates today, I’ve been busy juggling a number of different proverbial balls in the air.
But one thing I did want to point out was the Columbia Daily Tribune Rudi Keller’s blog post of House Speaker Steve Tilley’s comments about Cairo, Illinois. Keller was the reporter who asked Tilley whether he would rather see Missouri farmland or Cairo flooded. The answer sparked an Internet firestorm.
From the blog post:
With the video, Tilley became the target of every politician in Illinois and many of the town’s residents and defenders. At Cairo City Hall on Saturday, stacks of news releases from Illinois state lawmakers denouncing Tilley stood beside notices on evacuation plans to make sure visiting reporters knew about the controversy.
And townspeople were quick to offer their opinions as well. “I can’t believe a politician would make a statement like that. I can’t see it…it is pathetic,” Ronnie Garrett, a lifelong resident told me.
But one Illinois politician didn’t weigh in – President Barack Obama. He hasn’t said anything about Cairo or the flood that has already set a historic record there and seems poised to be the biggest on record along the Lower Mississippi. Obama has also been silent on the decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to blast open the levee in Missouri.
One of the big points of contention during the debate over legislation overhauling Proposition B was the so-called “emergency clause.”
If a piece of legislation has an emergency clause, it goes into effect right when the governor signs it. And it also appears that any bill with an emergency clause cannot be put up for a referendum.
House Minority Leader Mike Talboy, D-Kansas City, talked about this development at a Thursday press availability. Click on the video to see more.
House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, apologized on Thursday for remarks he made regarding southeast Missouri flooding.
There’s been a raging debate over whether to blow up a levee in southeast Missouri in response to heavy rains in the area. Such action could flood Missouri farmland, while failure to do so could flood places such as Cairo, Illinois.
Two days ago, I filmed and posted to the Web these remarks from Tilley. Tilley was asked by a reporter he would rather see Missouri farmland or Cairo flooded. Tilley immediately said, “Cairo.”
"I’ve been there, Cairo," Tilley said. "Have you been to Cairo? Then you know what I’m saying then."
Those comments were picked up by a number of popular Internet sites, including Illinois-based Capitol Fax and the Huffington Post. As of 10:03 p.m., it’s been viewed over 3,500 and sparked over 118 comments. The statement even prompted Illinois lawmakers - including U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville - to condemn Tilley.
Tilley told me earlier this afternoon that he’d received roughly 20 to 30 e-mails about the remarks. A police officer was stationed near his office.
He said he was sorry for making the comments.
“I want to apologize for them,” he added. “And I think politicians who say something stupid or say something incorrect should admit that they said something dumb… I certainly wish no ill will to Cairo. I will continue to fight for the people of southeast Missouri and the residents there. But it shouldn’t have lead to any inappropriate comments from me about Cairo and for that I regret it.”
Redistricting has reached a point where I’ve decided to introduce a new hashtag: Mapmania.
Why the sudden shift in blog categorization? Because this process is beginning to look like a long-running saga - similar to MOHELA-thon, the Village Law squabble or 2009’s supplementary stimulus debate.
In the latest chapter, the Missouri House pasted a new map proposal [above] an unrelated Senate bill. They then voted to send it to the Senate, hoping it will get passed and sent to Gov. Jay Nixon.
The move comes as the two sides failed to come to consensus early this morning before a likely deadline to override Gov. Jay Nixon during the legislative session. Negotiations will have to continue next week, since neither chamber is coming back until Tuesday.
Worth noting: three aforementioned sagas had in common was they were all eventually resolved, although in different ways. In the case of redistricting, the legislature will likely send something to Nixon, unless they simply want to punt the matter to the courts.
The big question, obviously, is what the final map looks like and whether it has enough support to override Nixon’s veto. The saga continues…
Missouri lawmakers toiled into the wee hours of the night, but were unable to come up with consensus regarding redistricting.
Since lawmakers won’t send a map to Gov. Jay Nixon by today, that means lawmakers won’t be able to override a potential veto until the fall. That could be significant, since it leaves a lot of time for individual members to be persuaded one way or another.
If Republicans can’t override Nixon, the map would likely be drawn by the courts. Here’s more from Associated Press reporter Chris Blank:
After private negotiations continued throughout the day and night Thursday, the Senate decided to adjourn until next Tuesday and House Redistricting Committee Chairman Rep. John Diehl said an immediate agreement was unlikely.
"I think we’re close, but obviously we’re far," said Diehl, R-Town and Country.
House members were to be in session Friday, which is unusual, and Diehl said there were options for considering redistricting proposals then. The Legislature’s annual session ends May 13.
The inability of Republicans to agree on a redistricting plan was causing mounting frustrations among some lawmakers. Particularly frustrating, said Sen. Ron Richard, was the fact that many lawmakers were left in the dark about the progress of the negotiations and the apparent sticking points.
"I’m pretty upset," said Richard, R-Joplin, a former House speaker who came to the Capitol dressed for work Friday but with nothing to vote on. "Now we just lost our ability to override the governor" during the legislative session.
There have been plenty of disagreements in the redistricting process between the two bodies. Among other things, the chambers seem to disagree on how to position St. Charles and Jefferson Counties. Both maps place St. Louis City in one legislative district, which would place U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis City, and U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis City, in the same electoral arena. But Carnahan could run U.S. Rep. Todd Akin’s reconfigured district, which could more Democratic than usual.
There have been plenty of disagreements in the redistricting process between the two bodies. Among other things, the chambers seem to disagree on how to position St. Charles and Jefferson Counties.
Both maps place St. Louis City in one legislative district, which would place U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis City, and U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis City, in the same electoral arena. But Carnahan could run U.S. Rep. Todd Akin’s reconfigured district, which could more Democratic than usual.
So what’s going on with redistricting? At the moment, not a whole lot.
The House came into session late Wednesday night, but only for House Majority Leader Tim Jones, R-Eureka, to explain the situation over the next day or two.
A conference committee may go into session tonight to discuss a compromise map, which could in turn lead to debate and debate on the matter tomorrow.
In the meantime, neither chamber is in session. And as MissouriNet Tweeted, the Senate is coming back at 3 p.m. to decide whether it will meet tomorrow.
The above video - courtesy of House Communications - features Jones explaining the redistricting situation.