The Buzz

BuzzChatter Tuesday: Nixon leaves doubt as to future of highway funding in Missouri

Nixon AP

Good morning.

“I cannot in good conscience endorse a $6.1 billion tax hike on Missouri families and seniors when special interests and the wealthy are being showered with sweetheart deals.” — Gov. Jay Nixon saying he can’t support the proposed three-quarters-of-a-cent transportation tax that will go before voters in August.

Nixon ended any doubt about his perceived opposition to the tax Monday with this statement. With an August election date that is certain to draw more conservative, anti-tax voters to the polls, the tax was already thought to be in trouble. Nixon’s statement comes close to ending the argument. The “sweetheart deals” Nixon refers to above is a series of tax breaks lawmakers approved in the closing hours of the 2014 session. One final point: Missouri faces mounting pressure to figure out a solution to its transportation issues. As of now, no solution is in sight.

“This is more of the Obama administration's war against middle America…more cost and more regulation. We need Kansas solutions for Kansans.” — Gov. Sam Brownback on new federal regulations aimed at cutting carbon emissions.

Brownback had little choice but to oppose the new regs, especially in this election year, given Kansas’ heavy dependence on coal. That said, Brownback and other conservatives need to be more pro-active when it comes to offering solutions to a problem that threatens the well-being of our children — and their children, too.

“DOR seems to have no shame when it comes to holding onto these taxpayer dollars.” — Missouri state Sen. Will Kraus, a Lee’s Summit Republican, on the Revenue Department’s decision to delay tax refunds to some 300,000 Missourians.

Hey, senator, the Revenue Department isn’t holding onto the refunds just to be mean. The state has a serious cash flow issue, exacerbated by slower than expected revenue growth. The GOP-led General Assembly shares some blame for not doing more to increase that revenue flow to ensure that the refund checks weren’t delayed.

“In Roberts’ latest act of desperation, it seems he was hoping for a last-minute spoiler candidate to enter the race so he could piece together a win without a majority of the vote.” — the campaign of Republican Milton Wolf who’s opposing Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts in the August primary.

One big story line out of Monday’s Kansas candidate filing deadline was that state Sen. Dennis Pyle opted not to enter the GOP Senate primary against Wolf and Roberts. But Wolf is engaging in hyperbole here. Roberts doesn’t need to worry — at least not yet — about getting past Wolf in August. Pyle’s entry, or non-entry, into the race doesn’t change that. But Wolf does have a point that Roberts should now agree to a couple of debates.