▪ “We believe that every American and in every community has a right to pursue happiness. They have a right to rise.” — Jeb Bush on Wednesday in Detroit delivering an economic speech that could become the foundation of his presidential campaign.
Bush was short on specifics, saying he would be trotting those out in the months to come. But make no mistake: Bush’s “reform conservatism” sounded a whole lot like his brother’s “compassionate conservatism.”
▪ “Our state laws should safeguard the rights of parents to shield and protect their children from harmful material — especially in schools.” — Kansas state Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, a Shawnee Republican, on a law she’s proposing that would end an exemption that teachers now have regarding the presentation of material “harmful to minors.”
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Pilcher-Cook said the proposal would protect children from obscene materials. Teachers said it would remove the safeguard teachers now have against baseless claims objecting to legitimate classroom instruction.
▪ “The fraud and abuse perpetrated on our seniors is absolutely unconscionable.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill on Wednesday addressing family members who exploit their elders.
Speaking to the Senate Aging Committee, the former Jackson County prosecutor pointed out that prosecuting family members for exploiting seniors in their own families is a “fairly recent phenomenon.” For too long, she said, these situations were dismissed as “family matters.” But McCaskill wants that to change.
▪ “Her role in helping to end segregation at the University of Missouri ranks her among the state’s greatest civil rights champions.” — Missouri state Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, a Kansas City Democrat, on a resolution she’s sponsoring that would declare July 1 as Lucile Bluford Day in Missouri.
Bluford, who died in 2003, was a reporter, editor, publisher and co-owner of the Kansas City Call. In 1939, she applied to the graduate program at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and was accepted. She was denied admittance, though, when she showed up to enroll, and school officials discovered she was black. She sued, and in 1941 the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the university had to admit her.
▪ “Missouri has the seventh largest highway system in the nation, but we rank 46th in revenue per mile.” — Missouri Department of Transportation Director Dave Nichols on Wednesday following the unveiling of a drastically scaled back road improvement plan.
Funding is set to drop to $325 million in 2017. The department says it needs another $160 million a year just to qualify for full federal matching dollars and maintain the current system.