The Buzz

TheChat: Anthony Hensley smells a rat in Kansas


Good morning.

▪ “It is very inappropriate to have a special-interest lobbyist draft a report for a legislative interim committee.” — Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley on a new report that concluded that the state needs massive public-education reform.

Hensley is suspicious that a conservative think tank was behind the report. That group, the Kansas Policy Institute, has sought for years to reorganize K-12 education in the state. A lobbyist for the KPI said he had nothing to do with the report.

▪ “I expect it to be a very productive and worthwhile session.” — House Speaker Todd Richardson forecasting the 2016 Missouri legislative session as he heads into his first full session as House leader.

Even though it’s an election year, the speaker is sending signals that he doesn’t want a stand-pat type of session. Richardson points out that a lot of agenda items were left undone last year, including highway funding, ethics, higher ed proposals and a response to the unrest in Ferguson. (link courtesy of

▪ “There isn’t anybody else.” — Sean Hadley, 47, explaining that Donald Trump supporters like himself do not have a second-choice presidential candidate.

For many of them, it’s Trump or bust. That scenario raises questions about how much a candidate like Ted Cruz might benefit if Trump would one day end his campaign. Cruz has been playing friendly with Trump to position himself if the billionaire flames out.

▪ “For yet another year, Missouri still lags behind when it comes to teachers’ salaries. I think we can do better.” — Missouri State Teachers Association Executive Director Bruce Moe on teacher pay, which ranked 42nd nationally.

Missouri teachers are paid nearly $9,000 a year less than the national average. Over a 30-year career that comes out to nearly $267,000, Moe pointed out.