▪ “I told people in my district I would oppose any and all tax increases...The problem in this building is spending. We all know it." — Kansas state Sen. Dennis Pyle, a Hiawatha Republican, on the budget crisis facing Kansas.
Pyle demonstrated his disdain for the latest tax-increase idea to plug a $400 million budget gap by placing a pack of “stink bait” in a trash can at his desk. The tax increase also deserved to be deposited in the trash can, he said. Attitudes like Pyle’s begin to show just how big a challenge legislative leaders face trying to craft a plan to end the session that’s now nearing its 100th day. Sessions typically last about 90.
▪ “Reach out to all the universities that participate in the intern program and ask them for input and guidance in in helping us craft a new policy.” — Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson’s charge to what he calls a legislative “working group” to examine the chamber’s internship program.
The formation of the group comes in the wake of a scandal involving former House Speaker John Diehl, who resigned from the General Assembly this month for sexting with an intern. Among the members of the group is state Rep. Rebecca Roeber, a Lee’s Summit Republican. The state Senate is investigating its own intern controversy that appears to be centered on state Sen. Paul LeVota, an Independence Democrat.
▪ "Better lines of sight will ensure greater security and diminished stress on workers, which in turn will enable us to attract and retain the best staff.” — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon describing a new $211 million state mental hospital in Fulton.
The new facility’s layout is designed to be flexible to meet future needs. At a groundbreaking this week, Nixon noted that Fulton had been home to the hospital since 1851 and, with the new building, would remain its home for another hundred years.
▪ “Right now, the Republican brand sucks.” — GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul in a new book describing his party.
Paul says minority voters are frightened of the party, but they shouldn’t be. He says the Republican Party’s image is “broken.”