Monday, May 15, 2017

Kansas City Democrat: Greitens proves that high public office is no place for beginners

(From Rep. Ingrid Burnett, D-Kansas City)

The Last Week
As I walked into the Capitol building with one of my colleagues on Friday morning, a lobbyist asked us if we would be able to stop the train. We all pretty much agreed that the light at the end of the tunnel was indeed an oncoming train.  Read on….

With complete control of state government, Republicans proved unable to govern during the 2017 legislative session, likely setting the record for the fewest number of bills passed in a regular session in state history.
Missouri has a Republican governor for just the second time in 25 years and Republicans hold large supermajorities in both the House and Senate. Yet they accomplished virtually nothing positive of significance this year.
Just 59 policy bills won final passage this year, along with the 16 appropriations bills that make up the FY 2018 state budget.
That shatters what is believed to be the previous record for futility, which was set in the 2000 session when lawmakers enacted just 67 policy bills, plus 17 appropriations bills.

Eric the Unready
Until Gov. Eric Greitens took office in January, he had never served a single day in public office, and his inexperience shows.
Gov. Greitens was so unready for the duties of his office that he felt to the need to hire a “chief operating officer” to do his job for him.
The governor essentially was a non-entity this year. He was rarely seen and only heard when he and his shadowy dark money minions attempted to bully his fellow Republicans into submission.
The governor’s tactics backfired and contributed greatly this year’s Republican dysfunction.
With his lack of leadership, Gov. Greitens has proved why high public office is no place for beginners.

Tipping the Scales of Justice
The purpose of our civil courts is to fairly weigh disputes and reach a just conclusion, but under the guise of being ‘business friendly,’ Republicans are making Missouri’s civil litigation system unfriendly to justice. The majority enacted several bills this year that do nothing less than tip the scales of justice in favor of the powerful and against the powerless.
Of particular concern is SB 43, which seeks to lock the courthouse doors to victims of unlawful discrimination by gutting the Missouri Human Rights Act. The Missouri Human Rights Act makes it illegal to discriminate in employment, housing or public accommodation based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, disability or familial status, and it is one of the most important tools we have to illegal discrimination in our state.
SB 43 is sponsored by state Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington, whose company, Show-Me Rent-to-Own, is currently being sued for racial discrimination. Gary Romine is being sued for violating the Missouri Human Rights Act, yet he sponsored legislation to gut the Missouri Human Rights Act.
This is a clear abuse of official power and exactly the sort of self-dealing and corruption Gov. Greitens campaigned against. Gov. Greitens should find the courage to stand up to the powerful interests who want to undermine the fairness of Missouri courts by vetoing SB 43.
Balancing the Budget on the Backs of the Vulnerable
Much of this year was spent arguing over which group elderly and disabled Missourians should suffer to pay for 15 years of failed Republican tax policies that have starved the state of the resources needed to provide basic services in order to grant hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy.
The governor wanted to eliminate nursing home and in-home care services for more than 20,000 disabled Missourians who simply aren’t disabled enough to satisfy the governor.
House Republicans wanted to strip poor elderly and disabled of a modest tax break they rely on to get by.
House Democrats and senators of both parties wanted nothing to do with either plan and devised a plan to avoid harming either group by “sweeping” excess funds that are sitting unused in government accounts.
In the end, and at the very last minute, House Republicans relented to go along and we were able to restore 8,000 disabled or elderly Missourians to receive nursing home and in-home care services.
Picking which group of disabled and elderly Missourians to hurt is choice that never should have been pondered and a discussion that never should have taken place.
Anti-Worker Agenda
Republican attacks on working families finally bore their bitter fruit with the passage of so-called right-to-work legislation.
The bill makes it a crime punishable by jail time for businesses to negotiate labor contracts that require workers to pay for the union representation they receive.
Throwing business owners in jail because they decide they know better than the government when it comes to running their companies and negotiating with employees won’t create jobs or grow Missouri’s economy.
Although Gov. Greitens signed the bill into law, pro-worker groups are circulating a rarely used “referendum petition” that would place it on the 2018 statewide ballot and block the law from taking effect unless voters approve it.
When the bill was before the legislature, Republican lawmakers refused to support Democratic attempts to let voters decide the issue because they fear the outcome won’t be what they wish.
Democrats believe in letting the people decide this issue.


By a vote of 98-34, with many Democrats abstaining in protest, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives on May 9 granted final approval to legislation that would make it significantly more difficult to hold employers accountable for illegal workplace discrimination. The bill previously cleared the Senate and now awaits action by Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican.

Senate Bill 43 erects several new barriers designed to discourage lawsuits under the Missouri Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, disability or familial status. It is sponsored by state Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington, who owns a chain of rent-to-own stores that faces a pending lawsuit for alleged acts of racial discrimination in violation of the Missouri Human Rights Act.

Democratic critics of the bill said Romine’s sponsorship amounted to an abuse of power. They urged Greitens, who campaigned on a pledge to clean up the culture of corruption and self-dealing in state government, to veto the bill. However, SB 43 is supported by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a key special interest group that was an early backer of Greitens during last year’s crowded four-way GOP gubernatorial primary.


Legislation to establish a statewide prescription drug monitoring program to help prevent opioid abuse failed to pass after the Senate insisted on a weak version of the bill that the House of Representatives was unwilling to accept and a last-minute compromise couldn’t be brought to final votes before lawmakers adjourned for the year on May 12.

The House approved the measure, House Bill 90, 102-54 more than a month ago. However, Senate opponents who see prescription monitoring as an unwarranted government intrusion into patient privacy added a number of restrictions to the bill, such as excluding many drugs from being subject to monitoring and requiring patient information to be purged after just six months, which monitoring supporters said is too short a time period to effectively track excessive purchases.

Because of the lack of a statewide monitoring program, more than two dozen Missouri counties and cities, including St. Louis and Jackson counties, have joined to create their own. Because HB 90 would preempt local efforts, lawmakers with strong local programs objected giving those up in favor of a weaker statewide program.

Missouri is the only state in the nation that hasn’t enacted a monitoring program to alert doctors when patients seek to obtain multiple prescriptions from different doctors. With HB 90 unable to pass before the legislative session ended on May 12, more cities and counties are expected to join the growing network of local programs.


Mo Rage said...

Yet another thing Pretty Boy Greitens shares with Donald "I Leaked" Trump. Both beginners. Both doing horribly at the job they sought.

And we get to thank Republicans and Right Wingers for both---and all they do.

Thanks, y'all!

Harvey Hutchinson said...

This woman Mo red( whoever you are, and afraid to reveal your real name are both complete trash !!
This session was. Rey successful in Quslty, getting people the tight to work and other important legislation

Great job Govenor Greitens, and the legislature, especially our own Southwest Missouri delegation!!!
Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text 34/7

Anonymous said...

But Harvey, when we took out the trash we thought you were in it. By the way, what is "Rey successful in Quslty?" "getting people the tight to work?" With der Trumpenfuhrer in the Russia House a lot of people are wanting to get "tight". Poor thing gets so worked up he can't type. Guess that happens quite a bit when your so called president gives classified intel to his Russian bosses and is up to his orange forehead in cover up. PARTY BEFORE COUNTRY!!!!!

Harvey Hutchinson said...

Trump is making America Great again, and Greitens and the legislature is making Missouri Great again!!!

I know that kills you sore looser liberals

Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text 24/7

Anonymous said...

Will you sore "winner" reich wingers still be crowing after the impeachment of your so called president? You must be so tired of winning by now you can't stand it. Of course nothing has been done except to show that the party before country repubs can't even govern with a majority in both the senate and house. Your Russian stooge president has made this country the laughing stock of the world. But you would think that is making American great again. By the way, learn to spell. You are showing your republican edumucation. LOCK HIM UP!! LOCK HIM UP!!

Anonymous said...

Trumpsters should be warned that the Tangerine Tantrum currently occupying the White House won't be there long.

His ship of state is leaking worse than a defective pair of Depends.

Pro Tip! Watch for state criminal indictments out of Virginia and New York. The presidential pardon doesn't work in state courts.

As soon as the subpoenas and indictments start producing rats and results the Orange An*s will be gone.

By the way, it is most incongruous that all the bible thumping repukes are now ok that the Trumpsters were always in bed with Putin. Mouth breathing low info repuke voters don't see anything wrong with having a daddy that says DA! As long as the gays and other minorities get bashed and that birth control is all shut down, then things are good in their flat little non global warming world.

Pence is in it up to his neck too.

Too bad there is a shortage of institutional beds.

Anonymous said...

Harvey, thanks for sharing your info. Your lack of respect for those who disagree with you has ensured my word of mouth will cost you customers.

Anonymous said...

Here's the kind of Republican "men" running DC:

KIEV, Ukraine — A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of the June 15, 2016 exchange, which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a Californian Republican known in Congress as a fervent defender of Putin and Russia.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy.

But taxcuts and budget wonkery and Trumpcare are more important to the Republican party than exposing Vlad's buttpuppets apparently.

Still on board the Trump train little trumpsters?

Im teaching Hervey Speak Russian said...

Hervey is too busy learning Russian and attempt make MAGA so Turner Snowflakes mus be wait a little for to make his repose!

But in middle times he vant me to say to you that

Harvey Hutchinson said...

The Washington Post is the most corrupt lying newspaper in the worlds history; maybe The NY Times is close, with Time Magazine, CNN, and MSNBC right there

Thank God for FOX and Rush Limbaugh

Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text 24/7

Anonymous said...

Faux News and Rush "Hillbilly Heroin" Limbaugh. That's two for the books. And God wouldn't have anything to do with either. That's OK. Your alternative world will be without it's alternative president shortly. Then you can talk about how the entire world is wrong. Isn't it funny that the most respected news agencies are the bad guys in this for calling Trump on his BS and lies? The poor Turd Reickkk wingers (also known as the "party before country" republicans) just can't get a grip on reality because of their hatred, bigotry, racism and hypocrisy. Sad. Believe me. Thousands of people tell me this. Bigly sad.

Harvey Hutchinson said...

We have the grip.
Liberal scum are sore losers!
We did not linke awful Obama; but we respected him and the office.
Something you anonymous cowards can't do.

Harvey Hutchinson 303-522-6622 voice&text 24/7

Anonymous said...

You didn't linke Obama? Don't lie to us about respecting Obama. We heard some of your repugnant leaders tell us how they were going to make him a "one term president". Now you fools voted some alt reich wing loser into the Whitehouse. The Russian stooge is destroying democracy right under your hypocrite nose but you are either to blinded by your radical brainwashing to see it or you are just ignorant of the law. Which is it? He has stomped all over ethics by ignoring the emoluments clause, many conflict of interest issues and giving Russia our intel. Alt right wing scum are sore winners I guess. You should be tired of winning by now. Wait until the fool is impeached. If he is smart he will resign as he is being told to do.

Anonymous said...

So respectful Harvey, clearly Democrats need to learn from Republicans on how to show respect.
Exhibit A: