The Buzz

TheChat: State Sen. Ron Richard throws down the gauntlet in Missouri


Good morning.

▪ "There's priorities on both sides of the aisle, and if mine don't make it, nobody else's will either.” — Missouri Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard, a Joplin Republican, on his plans to bring up two controversial bills in the Legislature’s final week — right-to-work anti-union legislation and voter photo ID.

The move could lead to some fireworks in the Statehouse. Richard said his priorities will come before a bill reauthorizing service provider taxes that help fund Medicaid in the state.

▪ “The individual tax savings are not significant enough to spur employment growth or lure companies to our state, yet it’s costing our state over $200 million.” — Kansas state Rep. Mark Hutton, a Wichita Republican, on how a tax break now given to limited liability corporations is not attracting new businesses to the state or spurring growth.

Hutton and state Rep. Marvin Kleeb, an Overland Park Republican, want to revise tax law and close a giant loophole in Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax-cut plan. The two lawmakers would place Kansas business owners back on income tax rolls. The plan would satisfy about half the state’s current budget hole.

▪ “We’re dealing so much right now with the unknowns.” — Eric Deitcher, school board president for the Shawnee Heights District in Kansas, which is ending its school year two days early and imposed $195,000 in cost-cutting measures.

Kansas faces split opinions these days. School officials are cutting budgets and worrying about the future as conservatives tout funding changes that they insist will boost education in the state.

▪  “You gotta give her and Bill credit. They did everything they could, from the outside, it seems, to protect Chelsea and raise her and give her as normal a childhood as they possibly could.” — Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana when asked if he could say something nice about Hillary Clinton.

Jindal also offered lots of criticism. But he picked the one thing that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on when it comes to a good thing the Clintons did.