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TheChat: Brandon Ellington decries the low number of Ferguson-related bills churning through the Legislature

Ellington
Ellington

Good morning.

▪ “Racist and we don’t care.” — Missouri state Rep. Brandon Ellington, a Kansas City Democrat and chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, on the low number of Ferguson-related bills getting through the General Assembly this year.

Some expected lawmakers to make big changes in the wake of Ferguson that would crack down on abusive police or court practices, but that’s not happening. Only two of the more than 60 bills filed have gotten very far. One deals with revenue generated from traffic fines. The other concerns police camera footage.

▪ “I welcome these latest changes.” — Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver applauding Google for re-opening sign-ups and outreach to poor neighborhoods.

The Kansas City Democrat had urged Google in February to re-open the sign-up process, and Cleaver noted Tuesday that the internet provider did just that. Cleaver cautioned that internet access remains a challenge for many.

▪ “That is not surprising.” — Sally Selden, a professor at Lynchburg College in Virginia, on high turnover in Missouri government.

Last year, the turnover rate for executive branch agencies hit 17 percent. Selden, who studies turnover rates, said the voluntary departure rate in Missouri was higher than she’d seen in other states. Meager to non-existent pay raises is a big factor.

▪ “He doesn’t know who he is.” — retiring Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, on likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

Reid said nice things about other likely GOP candidates, such as Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz. But Reid was clear about his dislike for Bush. “I hope he loses,” he said.

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