Finished with Out-of-State Special Interests Moving the Goal Posts on Affordable Energy for Missouri

The short of it – after acceding to all the demands of the special interest opponents of the early site permit legislation – those opponents have now said they can’t support a bill unless it essentially has the support of every person in the state of Missouri. I’m tired of playing Charlie Brown to the Lucy of a handful of out-of-state publicly-traded companies more concerned about next quarter’s earnings report than the long term future of our state. I believe the other supporters of the bill are as well. Maybe we’ll just wait until 2013 and pass it without acceding to any of their demands.

Special Session Interview on KWOS

It always fun to chat with Warren and Johnny Marsh. Today’s topic was Special Session.

KWOS Interview on Special Session – Sept. 7, 2011

A quick recap:

First, still hopeful on ESP, though obviously time is running short. The special interest opponents to Sen. Kehoe’s bill (which, oh by the way, is the only real jobs bill we talked about this session) have “agreed” to language. The proponents have acceded to all of their demands. And as soon as agreement is reached on language, we’re told that they can’t actively support the bill because it doesn’t have the “consensus” necessary for special session. By consensus, they mean not every special interest group in Missouri would support the changes. Sorry, but we don’t need “consensus” from special interests to move forward with a bill. This is just another excuse – and another example of moving the goal posts on proponents of affordable, clean, and secure energy for Missouri’s future. Going forward, I’m not sure if I’ll even meet with the special interest opponents anymore.

Second, the “Made in Missouri” jobs bill is like a sandwich with old crusty, moldy bread and a great chunk of meat that has some questionable spots. The “great chunk of meat” that I support includes MoSIRA, an effort to help commercialize Missouri biotechnology companies; data centers (incentivizing the building of massive data-storage centers, a growing industry vital to future economic growth), Compete Missouri (worker training), and amateur sporting events tax credits to help lure big-ticket events like the Final Four to Missouri. The crusty, moldy bread are the tax credit “reforms.” And the questionable meat is the beast known as Aerotropolis.

So, will I vote yes? Most likely. It depends on what the bill looks like after the Senate gets done with it. But as I told Warren and John, you can’t give those mold spores too much time or air to grow. Pretty soon it will spoil the whole sandwich.

Special Session Starts – and So Do the Senate Fireworks

Special session was set to convene today – and has. As expected, there was no drama in the House. But in the Senate….Senator Crowell is staging a mini-filibuster on the mere resolution to call the Senate into session. Been going more than two hours already. Should be an interesting week – or couple of weeks.

Governor Nixon Signs Concussion Awareness Bill

Gov. Nixon signed HB 300 this week, a bill which creates new standards to protect high school athletes from the effects of concussions. I sponsored a nearly identical bill that was rolled into this one, and am pleased that we’ve done work to increase safety in Missouri high school sports. The bill requires that students and parents be given information about the impact of concussions on student health. Just as importantly, it requires that student athletes who have suffered a head injury must be removed from play, and cannot return until they have seen a medical professional who has given them the go-ahead to return to action. As my co-sponsor Chuck Gatschenberger said often, “When it doubt, sit em out.” No game is worth risking the long-term health of a Missouri student-athlete, and this bill will help ensure greater protections for them.

To top it off, the NewsTribune offered its positive opinion on the bill this morning.

Jay Barnes Golf Tournament – August 22

We’ve scheduled our first fundraiser golf tournament. It will be held on August 22 at Railwood Golf Club just outside Wainwright, Missouri. It’s $100 per golfer which covers golf, beer, and the most fun you’ll ever have on a Monday afternoon in mid-August in mid-Missouri.

To register, contact Jay Barnes via email at

We’re Back!

After eight months of inactivity – we’re back on the web! Due to the chaos of starting my first term in the legislature, I inadvertently let our registration for slip. Just a few weeks after the deadline, I went to re-purchase the name and discovered a cyber-squatter had claimed it. Well, we waited, and waited, and waited. And the name came up for sale not too long ago – and, chagrined, we purchased the name back.

So now we’re back in business. It is my intention to use this site to communicate my thoughts on action pending before the Missouri House of Representatives. We’ll try to post frequent updates so the good people of western Cole County are better informed of the happenings at the state capitol. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with ideas or suggestions to make our state a better place to live, work, and raise a family.