The Buzz

Jay Nixon knocks GOP lawmakers for not expanding Medicaid

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon AP

Say hello to Tuesday.

“Health care should be the fastest growing sector of our economy. But because of the Legislature’s refusal to bring Missourians’ tax dollars home, this important industry is losing steam.” — Gov. Jay Nixon on a new report that shows health care job growth in Missouri has fallen behind other states that expanded Medicaid.

The study, from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, showed that health care job growth in Missouri has slowed to half what it was in 2011 and 2012. In addition, since January the average health care job growth rate in peer states that expanded Medicaid was more than double that of Missouri’s. One of the most interesting decisions of 2015 will be whether the Republican-led General Assembly relents on this issue. Prospects for expansion continue to grow year by year, and once the 2014 election is behind lawmakers, they may grow even more.

“The bottom line is that EPA cannot rewrite federal statutes to pursue a regulatory agenda that is beyond its statutory authority.” — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt on a U.S. Supreme Court decision Monday that sided with the state to limit some of the EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse emissions.

Schmidt, a Republican, lauded the high court’s 5-4 ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot use a provision of the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse cases. Schmidt said the EPA has grossly overreached. The attorney general pointed out that the Supreme Court stated in its ruling that it was “patently unreasonable — not to say outrageous — for EPA to insist on seizing expansive power that it admits the statute is not designed to grant.”

“We will not back down to this dictatorial government.” — transit activist Clay Chastain reacting, predictably, to proposed light rail initiative ballot language that Kansas City officials proposed on Monday.

Chastain didn’t like the language the city proposed. In fact, Chastain said the proposal doesn’t even include the words “light rail.” You can bet big money that the language will be the subject of court hearings. But given that Chastain’s involved, that’s hardly a surprise.

“They may have ignored the problem, swept it under the rug and hoped the survivor would give up and go away.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill at the last in a series of public roundtable discussions aimed at curbing sexual assaults on college campuses.

Blunt talk from the senator about what she fears has happened in too many assault cases on college campuses over the years. Among the obstacles to more effective prosecution outlined at a hearing Monday were the need for forensic interviews conducted with victims as quickly as possible, problems stemming from overlapping jurisdictions and the lack of written protocols.

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