The Buzz

TheChat: Kansas ending balance is wiped out by latest cuts


Good morning.

▪ “Obviously, we’re going to need more than $5.6 million in ending balance.” — Kansas budget director Shawn Sullivan on the impact of another round of budget cuts in the wake of lower-than-expected revenue forecasts.

The $5.6 million balance is in a $6.2 billion budget, and lots of things can go wrong in a spending plan that large that would threaten that $5.6 million.

▪ “The decision to approve the Keystone XL pipeline should have never been a question.” — Missouri Congressman Sam Graves on President Barack Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Graves, a Republican from northwest Missouri, dismissed Obama’s concern that the construction jobs created are only temporary. All construction jobs are temporary, Graves said. Any new job still benefits the economy.

“The president has lost an opportunity to create 42,000 jobs.” — Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican, on the pipeline decision.

He accused the president of posturing before the Paris climate talks. Democrats largely kept mum on the controversial decision.

▪ “I do believe that if you tie all those things together that bill will die under its own weight.” — Missouri Rep. Justin Alferman, a Hermann Republican, on the best way to pass a new ethics law for the state.

Alferman’s point is if you lump all the proposals together in one large bill the measure may well falter. Taking up proposals idea by idea is a more promising route, he said.

▪ “We’re moving the race from Safe Republican to Republican Favored.” — Stu Rothenberg and Nathan Gonzales, two of the country’s top political forecasters, announcing a shift in their view of the 2016 Missouri U.S. Senate race.

This is the race between GOP incumbent Roy Blunt and Democrat Jason Kander. Blunt is still a heavy favorite, but the shift signals that Kander is making progress. (link courtesy of