The Buzz

Obama: 8 million signed up for health care

Eight million people have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges and the proportion of younger applicants has increased, President Barack Obama said Thursday. The enrollments exceeded expectations and offered new hope to Democrats who are defending the law ahead of the midterm elections.

Missouri lawmakers cut taxes as they ponder raising them

On Wednesday, the General Assembly passed a bill incrementally cutting taxes by $620 million over at least five years, a measure Gov. Jay Nixon will probably veto. On Thursday, a Senate committee is expected to back a bill asking voters to raise the state’s sales tax by a penny for 10 years to fund updates to transportation infrastructure — money likely to rebuild I-70 nearly from Illinois to Kansas.

Chelsea Clinton: I might run for office someday

Chelsea Clinton says she's happy right now with her elected representatives — but might come for their jobs if that changes. Clinton, 34, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, told Fast Company that she has always denied any interest in running for office.

Ex-official leaves huge debt for California city

A former city official who became a symbol of municipal greed was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison — less than half the time it will take the nearly bankrupt Los Angeles suburb of Bell to dig itself out of the estimated $150 million in debt he left behind.

Missouri legislature passes $620 million tax cut, Nixon signals possible veto

The Missouri House gave final approval Wednesday to a $620 million tax cut bill, setting the stage for a showdown with Gov. Jay Nixon. Nixon, a Democrat, is expected to veto the measure. But GOP legislative leaders are hopeful they’ll muster enough support for an override. Republicans hold 108 seats in the Missouri House, only one shy of a veto-proof two-thirds majority. Democratic Rep. Jeff Roorda of Jefferson County joined the GOP in support of the bill Wednesday.

Judge hears arguments on proposed streetcar taxing district

Lawyers for supporters and opponents of Kansas City’s streetcars sparred at a hearing to determine the legality of a new taxing district that could help fund extensions to the downtown starter route. Meanwhile, Trucks began unloading rail for the Kansas City streetcar project on Wednesday in downtown Kansas City.

Missouri Supreme Court expands legal rights for injured workers

In a 5-2 decision, the court ruled that employees no longer have to prove that workers’ compensation claims were the exclusive cause for their dismissal in order to win lawsuits alleging retaliation. Instead, the court said employees must show only that workers’ compensation claims were a contributing factor in the subsequent dismissal from their job.

Court upholds EPA emission standards

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's first emission standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants.

Dilemma in reporting on extremism: Ignore it, or expose it?

One of the central challenges in political reporting is figuring out how much exposure to give to people like Frazier Glenn Cross, aka F. Glenn Miller. The journalist’s usual answer is balance — expose what you can without overexposing the rantings of an anti-Semite. But sometimes balance is imperfect, too.

Kansas court system furloughs not ruled out by bill

A committee studying court funding last year said that unless the Kansas Legislature comes up with more money, court employees could face 10 days of unpaid furlough in the upcoming year as the state’s judicial branch dealt with an $8.25 million budget shortfall.