The Buzz

TheChat: Kansas state rep gets clear message from voters on how to proceed in Topeka


Good morning.

▪  “Right the ship. Right the ship.” — Kansas state Rep. Lane Hemsley, a Topeka Republican, on what he heard from constituents during the Legislature’s recent break.

Lawmakers are back in town trying to close an $800 million budget hole. Hemsley said the message he heard from voters was a simple one.

▪ “It sends a clear message that Missouri is open for everyone, (and) that we treat everybody with respect.” — Missouri state Rep. Stephen Webber, a Columbia Democrat, on his introduction — for the sixth straight year — of the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act.

The bill, would revise the definition of discrimination to include unfair treatment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Webber says the measure picks up more supporters each year, although he concedes the measure likely will not pass this session. (link via

▪ “We are now one step closer to helping hardworking families save and plan ahead for the costs of attending higher education.” — Kansas Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, a Topeka Republican, on a bill that would loosen regulations on college-savings 529 plans.

The measure, which Jenkins has pushed, has already passed the House. This week, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously passed a similar measure, which would allow students to use the accounts to purchase computers and allows taxpayers to re-deposit refunds from colleges without taxes or penalties.

▪ “Twenty years is a long time. I don’t think she feels in any way bound by policies of a different administration two decades ago, even though she is married to the person who initiated those policies.” — Robert Reich, who served as labor secretary in the Clinton administration, on how Hillary Clinton is distancing herself from some of the policies that her husband championed while president.

One example: This week, she condemned the “era of incarceration” ushered in during the 1990s, which was heavily influenced by the 1994 crime bill that President Clinton advocated.