Kansas City, Mo. – The controversy surrounding police funding in Kansas City, Missouri, continues as a local organization speaks out against a Missouri ballot measure on the issue.
Next month Missourians will vote on amendment 4. If approved, the measure will require Kansas City to increase how much money it gives to the police department.
That discussion FOX4 has been following for months.
Now, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is taking a jab at the amendment.
“This city is getting desperate, and this is the latest evidence of their desperation,” said Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, who sponsored the bill in the Missouri Legislature.
If passed, the city would have to spend 25% of its general revenue on KCPD compared to the 20% currently required. Kansas City is the only police department under state control in Missouri and will be the only city affected by this statewide constitutional amendment.
In a recent statementThe chamber explained its reasons for opposing Amendment 4, saying in part:
- “It has been our long-standing policy position that budget decisions must be decided by local elected officials. This decision is best left to the Kansas City, Missouri, City Council – not the Missouri General Assembly and a statewide vote.
- “Amendment 4 creates a dangerous exception to the Missouri constitution, which prohibits an increase in the level of any activity or service mandated by the general assembly or state agencies of other political subdivisions of Missouri, unless the state pays all the increased costs. If passed, Amendment 4 could lead to other constitutional amendments that harm the government local and Missouri taxpayers by creating an unfunded mandate in local government.
But Luetkemeyer said a vote for amendment 4 ensures KCPD has its funding, pointing to the council’s actions last year.
“What they’re trying to do now is they’re trying to go back to the 1930s where they could politicize the KCPD budget, and if Amendment 4 passes, they can’t do that anymore,” Luetkemeyer. said.
After the chamber released its statement Thursday, Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted his reaction, saying in part, “Kansas City area businesses agree that Missouri Amendment 4 is anti-democratic, takes local decisions at the state level, and threatens to ultimately raise our taxes statewide. .”
FOX4 reached out to the room for further comment on the matter, but a spokesperson said no one would speak on camera.
KCPD responded to the statement, saying: “We generally do not comment on pending legislation that has not passed. We will work with the city to determine our final budget and work within the limits of the adopted budget as we always do.