The Buzz

TheChat: Kansas evaluates impact of the raucous 2015 session


Good morning.

▪ “Personally, I'm going to miss serving with some of you, because I doubt they'll return you.” — Kansas state Sen. David Haley, a Kansas City, Kan., Democrat, addressing his GOP colleagues last week. His point: Republican senators will struggle to explain to voters why lawmakers backed one of the largest tax increases in state history.

The fallout from the 2015 session continues.

▪ “It's clearly a cautionary tale for other states to have in mind.” — Matthew Gardner, executive director of the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, on how Kansas’ experience with tax cuts, and their resulting budget problems, is discouraging other states from following suit.

For example, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley failed to pass income tax cuts in her state even though she made it clear that, “We are not doing what Kansas did.”

▪ “We’ve got a little bit of a hole to fill here.” — Jim Freeman, chief financial officer for the Wichita school district, on the the need to raise property taxes to fill a budget shortfall.

The issue: The state’s new block-grant method of funding schools won’t be enough to cover rising expenses in the district. School officials say they expect this scenario to repeated elsewhere around the state.

▪ “It’s so frustrating around here that everyone wants it their way. This is where we desperately need a compromise, and we need it now rather than at the eleventh hour.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, saying she hopes lawmakers in Washington pass a budget sooner rather than later.

McCaskill said some compromising is in order as lawmakers fight over declining federal resources. (link via