The Buzz

BuzzChatter Thursday: Independence lawmaker seeks to expand Medicaid, but with a twist

Updated: 2014-02-19T21:22:45Z

By STEVE KRASKE

The Kansas City Star

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, marijuana legalization and George W. Bush today in the quotes:

• “Washington may have blown it but that doesn't mean Missouri has to.” — Missouri state Rep. Noel Torpey, an Independence Republican, on his legislation that would expand Missouri’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act, but require Medicaid recipients to have jobs.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce, which backs Medicaid expansion, is hailing this as the great compromise the state has been waiting for on this most contentious of issues. Virginia Young of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out that while predictions of breakthroughs may be premature, the proposal could at least get the debate started on an issue that’s gone nowhere so far this year.

• “Candidates who wish to serve in state or local government should not be put at a disadvantage because they have also chosen to bravely serve our country.” — Nixon on a bill he signed Wednesday that helps members of the military file for elected office.

The bill, which had bipartisan backing, permits active members of the military or those with a physical disability to designate a proxy to take their place in the random drawing on filing day that determines where the candidates’ names will appear on the ballot. Prior to this legislation, military members on active duty often couldn’t appear in person and that resulted in many being listed last on the ballot, a disadvantageous position for any candidate.

• “I know that many of you were eager to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri this year, and it’s disappointing to find out that we will have to — again — practice patience and wait for another election cycle. Trust me, I understand the feeling.” — John Payne of Poplar Bluff, executive director of Show-Me Cannabis, on the group’s decision to wait until 2016 to push for a statewide vote on legalizing marijuana in Missouri.

The group determined that in a low-turnout election like the one this year in Missouri — when the only statewide race is for auditor — the chances of getting their supporters to the polls were not as good as in 2016 when the next presidential race will be. That said, current polling shows that the vote still would be close. You can only imagine how nervous this issue makes every office-holder in the state who will soon be asked whether they support the idea or not.

• “I miss Air Force One. In eight years, they never lost my baggage.” — former President George W. Bush on what he misses about being president.

Besides that, the ex-prez said he misses the folks he worked with.

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