The Buzz

TheChat: Do future budget shortfalls loom in Missouri?


It’s the morning after a big primary election...

▪ “We're looking at potential shortfalls which could undermine our ability to invest in the education and health and other needs of our citizens.” — Amy Blouin, executive director of the Missouri Budget Project, a group that advocates for low-income Missourians, warning of the potential for future budget shortfalls.

Blouin said revenue is projected to grow at only 4.1 percent, and that suggests a budget shortfall of $216 million. She’d like to see lawmakers pass a sales tax for online shopping. But with a GOP-controlled General Assembly, such a move is unlikely.

▪ As a Democrat, it’s embarrassing to see the lack of equal opportunity continue.” — former Missouri state Sen. Chuck Graham, a Columbia Democrat, criticizing the selection of a long-time aide to Gov. Jay Nixon to a judgeship.

Graham was particularly incensed that Nixon, a fellow Democrat, did not pick a woman. He accused Nixon of skipping over a number of qualified women to pick aide Jeff Harris, who Graham said had never handled a jury trial. Graham pointed out that Nixon has never appointed a woman to the state Supreme Court.

▪ “I can’t think of anybody who fits that bill.” — Cheryl Walker, co-chair of the MU presidential search committee, on whether any elected public officials were on a preliminary list of presidential candidates for the system.

She was referring to Gov. Jay Nixon, who has disavowed any interest on the job even though his term as governor expires in January. A search firm assisting the process is still collecting names of potential presidents.

▪ “The financial hole Governor Brownback and his rubber-stamp allies in the Legislature have created keeps getting deeper.” — Kansas state Rep. Tom Burroughs, a Kansas City, Kan., Democrat, on a $14.3 million budget shortfall in July.

Look out, below! More budget cuts are in the offing in the wake of the latest budget disappointment. Tax receipts remain weak in counties with significant dependence on agriculture and oil.