The Buzz

TheChat: Roy Blunt wants to boost health-care research


Good morning.

▪ “We’ve fallen behind a little in the last few years.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, on the need to boost health research funding.

Blunt made the remark during a recent visit to Washington University’s Alzheimer’s Research Center in St. Louis. Blunt is in a position to help as he’s now chair of an Appropriations subcommittee that controls federal funding for the National Institutes of Health.

▪ “Join Mayor Sly James as he unveils the first completed streetcar station stop!” — a headline on an invitation Tuesday to a public celebration at 5 p.m. Friday near Anton's Taproom, 1610 Main St.

The city is trying to build excitement for the new system, expected to open next year.

▪ “Unfortunately, with the revision of revenues downward, it does make balancing the budget more of a challenge than it was,” — Kansas budget director Shawn Sullivan on the news that state revenues are not coming in as expected.

The numbers are off by another $200 million, and Sullivan is downplaying the impact. School officials, university leaders and social service officials are all expecting the worse. Tax increases? Maybe.

▪ “They were all steered into high-price loans, into predatory loans. All of those things had a negative impact on the accumulation of family wealth.” — St. Louis Congressman Lacy Clay on how African Americans were denied access to certain government loans and the impact that had.

A new report by the Congressional Black Caucus shows that blacks face inequities in employment, income and wealth. (link courtesy of

▪ “Certainly I realize that time in session is growing short, but I don’t want to count ourselves out until May [15th] at 6 o’clock when everything else is done.” — Roberta Broeker, the Missouri Department of Transportation’s chief financial officer and next director, on her hope that lawmakers will raise revenue to repair roads and bridges before the session ends.

The department is facing a massive financial crunch, and legislative leaders are showing little interest in dealing with the issue this session. But Broeker is still hoping for a stop-gap 2-cents-a-gallon boost.