The Buzz

TheChat: A boost in Missouri fuel taxes may not happen after all


Good morning.

▪ “It’s got a long [way] to go and a short time to get there.” — Missouri Senate leader Tom Dempsey on the prospects of the chamber approving a boost in fuel taxes this session.

Dempsey said he was quoting a Burt Reynolds movie. Although the Senate has given initial approval to a fuel tax increase that would pay for highway improvements, an amendment added by state Sen. Rob Schaaf that would create a board to study tolling could doom it. (link via

▪ “I don’t think anyone’s goal when they wake up in the morning is to say, ‘Let me figure out how I can go and get on TANF.’” — Missouri state Sen. Kiki Curls, a Kansas City Democrat, opposing a GOP push to limit the time needy parents can be on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

The Republican-led Senate on Monday overrode Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the bill, which shortens the time parents can be on TANF from 60 to 45 months. Curls said Republicans will wind up undermining families who really need help. The override attempt now moves to the House.

▪ I firmly believe that there is no job an individual would not take if it would allow them to provide for their family and themselves.” — Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver announcing that is co-sponsoring a bill to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $12 an hour by 2020.

The increase in the wage doesn’t reach the $15 threshold that some supporters seek. The bill also would index the minimum wage to a median wage standard. “As we work to address increasing income inequality in this country, the minimum wage bill would help narrow the growing gap in wages,” Cleaver said.

▪ “I don’t have a global foundation or a taxpayer paycheck to live off of. I don’t come from a family dynasty, but a working family. I grew up blue collar and not blue blood.” — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Tuesday kicking off his second bid for the White House.

Huckabee, who proved popular in Missouri and Kansas the last time he ran in 2008, was referring to Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. He appeared in his hometown of Hope, Ark., which is the hometown of President Bill Clinton.