Steve Kraske
February 24, 2016

Good morning.

▪ “Bleak.” —Shawnee Mission School District Superintendent Jim Hinson reflecting on the state of the Johnson County district’s finances.

Hinson heads one of the state’s largest school districts, and he sees trouble ahead. One sign of it: a likelihood of rising class sizes.

▪ “When we look at the sins of America, we have to make sure we’re not re-instituting those sins. I believe that we’re doing that with our death penalty.” — Missouri state Rep. Brandon Ellington, a Kansas City Democrat, on his call to halt racial inequity when re-instating the death penalty.

Democratic lawmakers are pushing legislation that would require the Missouri State Supreme Court to identify if race was a factor in a death penalty sentence. African Americans comprise 12 percent of the state’s population, but 40 percent of all executions.(link via

▪ “We’ve got to do something now.” — Missouri state Sen. Gary Romine, a Farmington Republican, on why budget cuts are needed to wake up the MU administration.

University leaders aren’t getting the job done, he said. The atmosphere on Columbia’s campus needs to change immediately.

▪ “We’re really missing out on our future.” — Annie McKay, executive director of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, on the state’s financial future.

The quality of life for the lowest 40 percent of earners has dropped, and education will suffer long term, she said.

Read more from the Kansas City Star here.