▪ “There's essentially no ban whatsoever.” — Missouri state Sen. Rob Schaaf, a St. Joseph Republican, on a 23-8 vote by the Senate to reject a lawmaker gift ban.
Even though ethics was hailed as the session’s major issue, lawmakers didn’t come close to passing one of the basic ethics bills long touted as essential to cleaning up Jeff City. The free food, booze and tickets will continue flowing.
▪ “I thought, 'What in the world is this?’ I've never received a marketing email from the speaker's office.” — Kansas state Rep. Russ Jennings, a Lakin Republican, reacting to an email from House Speaker Ray Merrick’s office about the opportunity to be measured for a pair of custom-made boots at the Statehouse.
Texas-based Lucchese boots will be in the Capitol to measure the fine feet of lawmakers next week. “As an additional option, the Kansas state seal can be added to your hand-made boots,” the invitation read. Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka called the offer absurd especially as lawmakers have to wrangle with a massive budget deficit. “Political tone deafness is epidemic here,” she said.
▪ “Police officers have to have a little bit of wiggle room.” — Cape Girardeau County Sheriff John Jordan raising questions about a bill that would prohibit the shackling of pregnant inmates in many cases.
Although the measure has lots of support, Jordan said law enforcement officers need options. He said even pregnant women can pose a safety threat.
▪ “They’re scared, and they’re trying to understand how real this is.” — an American official in touch with foreign leaders about the prospect that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.
President Barack Obama reportedly is trying, but failing, to calm foreign leaders.