The Buzz

TheChat: Kansas senators eyeball what a nearly 6 percent budget cut looks like


Good morning.

▪ “There’s no such thing as buffalo bucks. We have to make it match. We have to have our ends meet. So if we can’t accomplish it in one direction, we have to go the other.” — Kansas state Sen. Ty Masterson, an Andover Republican and chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, on his proposal to cut all state budgets by 5.7 percent, including education.

Masterson wants to give his fellow senators a glimpse of what state government would look like if a tax increase is not passed to balance the next state budget, which remains $400 million out of whack. Lawmakers continue to flounder in Topeka.

▪ “We’re still really in the process of going through all of that and making those determinations.” — Sara Belfry, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, on the process agencies heads are employing to determine which workers are “essential” and which could stay home if lawmakers can’t hammer out a budget.

“Furloughs” is the big word in Topeka’s bureaucracy these days. Belfry said the key for her agency will be continuing to protect the health and safety of the state.

▪ “The money taken out was an absolute frontal attack of the perception of Common Core.” — Peter Herschend, president of the Missouri Board of Education., on the General Assembly’s banning of the Common Core learning standards.

Lawmakers ordered the state education department to cut its ties with the test’s developer, and educators are now uncertain how they’ll test kids next spring. Anti-Common Core partisans strike again.

▪ “I don’t want to debate you over your poll.” — Hillary Clinton pollster Joel Benenson to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, saying he disagrees with a CNN poll that showed that Clinton’s numbers dropping in several categories.

The CNN poll out this week showed that a majority of Americans fail to find the former secretary of state trustworthy. Just 47 percent of respondents said Clinton “cares about people like me” while 52 percent said she did not. Benenson said he did not regard the CNN poll as “the gold standard.”