In a measure that will be presented to Missouri voters in November, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas is suing the state of Missouri along with the Board of Police Commissioners. Lucas’s lawsuit will challenge Senate Bill 678, which will raise the city’s funding for the police department from 20% to 25%.
Lucas stated in his filing that the forced increase in funding is unconstitutional and that the bill is in violation of the Hancock Amendment.
The Hancock Amendment, which was added to the Missouri Constitution in 1980, primarily serves to limit state and local government taxation and spending.
“In the past year, I have requested more than $13 million from the State of Missouri’s $2.7 billion American Rescue Plan Fund to support hazard pay for our officers who served on the frontlines during the COVID 19 pandemic and to procure lifesaving equipment for Kansas City police officers,” Lucas said. “Missouri leaders denied our request to help Kansas City police officers.”
Lucas stated that he had a problem with some of the language on the bill, including where it says “State and local governmental entities estimate no additional costs or savings related to this proposal.”
“That is misleading because that will be on the ballot for every Missourian,” Lucas said on FOX4 on Monday. “Everybody who goes out to vote, probably almost a million people, will see that misinformation. That is not true.”
Lucas went on to say that the bill will take funding away from other areas that desperately need it. “With billions of dollars available, conservative legislators did nothing for our officers, but now pretend to support the police by creating a policy that ultimately will defund our firefighters, defund our parks, and defund road repair in Kansas City,” Lucas said.
Mark Tolbert, who is President of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, issued a statement regarding the lawsuit filed by Lucas.
“The Board has just been made aware of the Mayor’s lawsuit, which appears to be another attempt to reduce funding for police in Kansas City. Funding of the Kansas City Police Department is an important issue that should be left to the voters in November,” Tolbert said.
He added, “This lawsuit, however, does nothing to make our City safer and ignores the critical need for leaders to come to the table and solve problems. Regardless, the Board and the Police Department remain focused on working with City leadership to make our City a safe place to live.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE MISSOURI TIMES
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