Jefferson City Roundup
This is the part of the session where things happen fast and furious. You might think our job here at the Show-Me Institute is closely related to what happens in Jefferson City, and you would be correct, but only to a point. You can easily run the danger here of focusing too much on the horse race instead of the finish, and the horse race is only interesting to a very small number of people. Plus, there are plenty of people who know the game much better than we do. I’ll put my knowledge of the issues surrounding occupational licensing up against anyone’s, but it you ask me the odds of House Bill X getting out of committee and being successfully meshed in conference committee with Senate Bill Y, well … you get my point.
So, with that in mind, here is a quick summary of things important to me, and to the Show-Me Institute, and how they are going in our beautiful state capital. (Note: That was not sarcasm; I really think Jefferson City is great and the capitol building is wonderful.) Thanks to Combest for most of the following links.
Efforts at reforming the judicial selection process have apparently stalled. This is too bad. I didn’t like the more wholesale changes proposed in the past, but the alterations proposed by Sen. Jim Lembke in the latest bill seemed very reasonable, and would likely have made the system better.
The legislature passed a small but important victory for individual liberty when it approved legislation eliminating the mandate for motorcycle helmet laws. Missourians will be better off if the governor signs this return to liberty.
Distribution of the stimulus funds is still up in the air. The proposed tax refund for Missourians deserves to be seriously debated by the legislature. How is this line, from Missourinet, for a little frying pan / fire commentary?
In another move during floor debate, $12 million dollars was taken from a fund to pay ethanol plant incentives and given to aid the financially strapped Metro transit system in St. Louis.
It is also still in dispute how much we will subject the rest of the Midwest to those “Wake Up to Missouri” ads that air during sitcoms. I say cutting those funds is a smart idea. I don’t imagine that even one person in the history of the world has said, “Hey, I just saw an ad for South Dakota while watching Friends. Let’s go there next month!”