The Buzz

TheChat: Gov. Jay Nixon to launch construction of new state mental hospital


Good morning.

▪ “Governor Nixon to help break ground on new Fulton State Mental Hospital campus tomorrow.” — headline on a Tuesday press release from the governor’s office about Wednesday’s groundbreaking.

This may seem like distant news for the KC area. Truth is, the state is years overdue building a new state hospital. This is a significant step forward.

▪ “Pat is exactly who the Democrats need on the statewide ticket.” — Kansas City Mayor Sly James on Tuesday endorsing another Kansas Citian, Pat Contreras, for Missouri treasurer.

This is low-hanging fruit for Contreras, who is trying to jump-start his upstart campaign. Contreras is a former diplomat and employee of the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City. He fills a vacancy for the party on next year’s statewide ballot.

▪ “We are at the point where we need to get things done.” — Kansas state Rep. Marvin Kleeb, an Overland Park Republican, on the need for the Legislature to begin wrapping up the session.

Leading Republicans like Kleeb are beginning to send notice that lawmakers need to adopt a revenue package and wrap up their 2015 session. The talk is beginning about state employee furloughs and other unsavory developments if the session lingers much longer.

▪ “Just wasn’t very nice.” — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s criticism of him for blocking Senate action on the Patriot Act. Christie said Paul’s maneuvering was the result of "misguided ideologues."

Christie was joined by Arizona Sen. John McCain and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham in denouncing Paul, who is a 2016 presidential candidate. Paul plans to offer amendments that would stop the government from collecting bulk phone records and instead give the records to the phone companies.