The Buzz

TheChat: The drought in Kansas isn’t over, but concerns have eased

The drought in Kansas (pre-rains)
The drought in Kansas (pre-rains)

Good morning.

▪ “Kansans need to know recent rains have greatly improved conditions in our state, but the effects of drought remain evident. Some areas have been experiencing drought for almost six years and will need many years to completely recover.” — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday in a statement updating the state’s drought conditions.

There was good news in the governor’s update. He’s removed most of the state from drought status and downgraded 33 other counties because of heavy rains in recent weeks. Still, state officials insist the battle against dry conditions isn’t over.

▪ “They can keep dragging their feet, but this is something that they’re going to have to be doing.” — Katie Stuckenschneider with the LGBT advocacy group PROMO on when Missouri counties have to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Missouri Recorder of Deeds Association says counties have 25 days following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last week to start issuing the licenses. Stuckenschneider says the counties should already be issuing them.

▪ “It is used up.” — Stephen Miller, chairman of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, on the sorry condition of I-70 across the state.

He called the highway Missouri’s economic lifeline and wants to spark a conversation across the state about what the interstate could be. The other issue: how to pay for it. MoDOT is working overtime to educate the state about the challenges facing the state’s highway network in a bid to coax more funding out of lawmakers next year. (link courtesy of

▪ “You're going to get what I think -- whether you like it or not.” — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announcing his candidacy Tuesday for president.

Dogged by controversy at home, Christie launches his campaign as the longest of long shots after standing squarely in the party’s first tier at one point. How he breaks through in such a crowded GOP field will be a huge test for him. Blunt talk could prove to be an effective route.