There have been reports that President Obama may take steps to try to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba. It houses people detained in connection to the U.S. war on terrorism.
Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts is opposing any plan that would bring detainees on U.S. soil. During a stop in Topeka, he said he'll take to the floor of the Senate and filibuster any efforts to close Guantanamo Bay.
"And if he tries it, I will shut down the Senate," said Roberts.
A Kansas City council committee began debate this week on Mayor Sly James's proposal to reduce tax abatement for developers. The ordinance he proposed would reduce the maximum for developers from 100 percent to 50 percent.
Concerns were immediately raised by some business and economic development leaders and several council members that cutting back on tax breaks would cast a pall over development, and businesses would build in competing communities.
The Kansas City, Missouri City Council modified the city's ban on open carry of firearms Thursday to bring it into compliance with a new state law. That law was passed by the Legislature over the veto of Gov. Jay Nixon.
Presenting the changes for a final vote, Councilman John Sharp explained that to continue to prohibit open carry for most people, the city now must exempt some persons.
The Kansas City, Mo., City Council wants to know if current city rules regulating the taxi cab industry are unfair to women- and minority-owned businesses.
At issue is an agreement Yellow Cab has to act as an exclusive operator with most of the major downtown and Crown Center hotels. Councilman Dick Davis says that contract is keeping small taxi cab companies from operating in large swaths of the city.
A Kansas City City Council committee has finalized an ordinance making it illegal to intimidate walkers and bike riders on Kansas City, Mo., streets.
Maggie Priesmeyer, who volunteers for an organization that helps provide bikes to needy people, was among those who shared stories about rude, intimidating and inconsiderate motorists.
She told the Public Safety Committee the story of a homeless, jobless veteran named Joe who came in for for help with bike repairs wearing a sling and brace of the type used to support a broken collarbone.
Missouri U.S. Senator Roy Blunt made Kansas City his first stop in a statewide series of "listening sessions" with law enforcement officials on Monday. Blunt is co-chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Committee.
The Senator said the first conference included county and suburban Missouri law enforcement leaders as well as those from Kansas City. The discussion, he said, centered on what the federal government could do to help local enforcers in emergency and homeland security crisis situations.
Honking, cat-calls, projectiles and more get hurled at pedestrians and cyclists in Kansas City. The city council now is considering a law to crack down on that type of conduct.
Calling these actions “threatening and dangerous behavior,” the proposed ordinance seeks to protect “vulnerable road users.”
Councilman John Sharp is expected to recommend the ordinance at this week's council meeting. He and Kansas City Star reporter Mike Hendricks joined Steve Kraske on Up to Date Monday to discuss the details.
Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 9:06 pm
From looking at the raw numbers, Republican legislators might consider the Missouri General Assembly’s recent veto session a smashing success.
After all, the Republican-controlled body overrode 10 of Gov. Jay Nixon’s vetoes – and even more of his line-item vetoes. Nixon even faced a blistering condemnation from a Democratic senator over his response to Ferguson.
Originally published on Sun September 14, 2014 5:00 pm
Although the Missouri General Assembly overrode 10 bills vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon -- and 47 of his line-item budget cuts -- the governor has opted to look on the bright side of Wednesday’s packed veto session.
Nixon announced Thursday that he’s releasing $143.6 million in budgeted money that he had withheld from school districts and colleges, largely because legislators failed to overturn most of his vetoes of the tax-break bills he had dubbed the “Friday favors.”
Kansas City, Mo., toughened its protections against domestic violence Thursday, giving city prosecutors the power to take violators of ex parte orders of protection to court.
The ordinance was back on the floor after a revision to address Councilman Ed Ford's insistence that it be modified to make it clear that persons could only be prosecutors if they had received notice of the protection order. He still objected that the revised ordinance could make it difficult for estranged couples to communicate about children or other important matters.
Tax abatement for a 344-acre biotech office park south of the Cerner Three Trails Campus has cleared committee and advances to the city council floor.
The Plans Zoning and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday agreed with PIEA development authorities that Oxford on the Blue merits 26-year property tax abatement.
The proposal calls for 100 percent abatement for 10 years and 50 percent for an additional 15 year, but Councilman Ed Ford explained that not every part of the project is expected to get the full 25-year break.
Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 7:10 am
(Updated 8:35 p.m., Wed., Sept. 10)
The Missouri House and Senate have voted overwhelmingly to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s line-item vetoes of more than 50 items in the state's current budget, although both sides agree the overrides may not be enforceable.
The House spent more than six hours dealing with the issues. The Senate swiftly followed suit with a barrage of votes Wednesday night.
Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 10:06 pm
(Updated 12:15 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 11)
The Missouri General Assembly has made the state the third in the country to require a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can obtain an abortion, after the state Senate killed off a filibuster.
The Senate voted 23-7 – along party lines -- to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the bill, but only after deploying a procedural action that it hadn’t used in seven years to end a Democratic filibuster that had gone on for about two hours.
When you think of Iraq and Afghanistan, you think of American soldiers in uniform, but what may surprise you is how many private contractors are there too. In recent years, the ratio of contractors to uniformed soldiers has been 10 to one.
On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with a journalist about the increase in these forces and why relying on them so much might not be a good idea.
Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 8:19 pm
Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says an audit released Monday shows that Gov. Jay Nixon violated Missouri's constitution when he withheld money from two recent state budgets.
Schweich says the governor had no legal right to withhold $172 million from several state programs to help cover costs from the Joplin tornado and other recent natural disasters during fiscal year 2012.
Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 3:59 pm
Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that his conversations with residents of Ferguson during his visit two weeks ago influenced his decision to investigate the city’s police department.
Holder says he heard directly from residents and listening sessions “about the deep mistrust that has taken hold between law enforcement officials and members of the community. ... People consistently expressed concerns stemming from specific alleged incidents, from general policing practices, and from the lack of diversity on Ferguson’s police force.”
Kansas City faith leaders are calling on Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to halt an execution scheduled for next week.
A dozen religious leaders met Tuesday to deliver a letter to Nixon's downtown Kansas City office asking for a meeting with the governor to discuss a moratorium on the death penalty in Missouri.
"Each time the state of Missouri executes, whether the person is guilty or innocent, I am made a murderer, just like any other, and my faith convicts me to say no," says retired United Church of Christ minister Jane Fisler Hoffman, the organizer of the event.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has chosen his former legal counsel, a staunchly pro-life judge named Caleb Stegall to fill a vacancy on the Kansas Supreme Court.
Stegall served as Gov. Brownback’s legal counsel early in his administration. Last year Brownback nominated Stegall to the Kansas Court of Appeals, and Friday boosted him onto the highest court in the state.
“I’d like to say on a personal note, I believe Caleb Stegall to be one of the most qualified people ever to go on the Kansas Supreme Court,” said Brownback.
Faced with a successful referendum drive that could force the repeal of plans to outsource Kansas City ambulance service billing, the city council has repealed the plan.
The issue was contentious from the start. City Manager Troy Schulte proposed having a private company manage the billing because, he said, it would increase revenues from insurance collections while saving money.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, was in Kansas City Wednesday touring a manufacturing company. She talked about the events in Ferguson, Mo., and how police can better serve their communities in the future.
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill says after what happened in Ferguson, Mo., more law enforcement agencies should be equipped with body-mounted cameras.
"I believe with today's technology, body cams on police officers not only protect members of the community from somebody who might be overreacting, but it really protects police officers, also," says McCaskill, who was in town Wednesday visiting a Kansas City manufacturing company.
McCaskill says she would support legislation requiring the cameras for all police departments that receive federal funding.