Top Of The Morning News: Wednesday, August 1, 2012
The fate of Kansas City's downtown streetcar taxing district now rests in fewer than 500 votes. Candidates face off in debates as primary season hits its final stretch. It’s a daily roundup of news from KCUR.
Missouri Medical Malpractice Caps Overturned
Missouri’s cap on medical malpractice payouts for personal injuries has been overturned. The state’s Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the malpractice limits of 350,000 dollars violate an individuals’ right to trial by jury. Read more here.
Fate of Street Car Tax District Rests In Just A Few
The fate of whether Kansas City, Mo. will establish a downtown streetcar taxing district rests in fewer than 500 residents. Jackson county officials had 474 ballots by yesterday’s deadline, according to the Kansas City Star. The special vote required registered voters who live within the proposed taxing district to mail in their ballots. The Kansas City Election Board will count and certify those ballots later today. If approved, the measure would create a maximum level of property and sales taxes that could be imposed on downtown property owners, in order to help pay for a $100 million, two-mile streetcar route from the River Market to Crown Center. The actual taxes would still need additional voter approval.
Candidates Debate On Up To Date
Several candidates faced off on KCUR’s Up To Date this week in the lead-up to next week’s primaries. Hear from those in the race for Lieutenant Governor and those battling for the eighth district senate seat in Kansas.
No Clear GOP Frontrunner In Final Stretch Of Missouri’s U.S. Senate Race Primary
Entering the final sprint of the primary season, a clear frontrunner between the three main G-O-P candidates for the U-S Senate race in Missouri has yet to emerge. But with no major differences in their respective platforms, the Republican primary is more about personality and background than policy. Read more here.
GOP Campaigns In Kansas Rack Up Funds
Campaigns for moderate and conservative Republicans in Kansas are getting expensive. That’s according to campaign finance reports filed with the secretary of state’s office this week. The Kansas Chamber of Commerce’s PAC has spent nearly a quarter million dollars this month on mailers and broadcast advertising. It hopes to help conservative candidates challenge about a dozen moderate Republican state senators in next week’s primaries. The committee’s biggest donor is Koch Industries, Inc. in Wichita. Meanwhile, a PAC led by Kansas Senate President Steve Morris has extended its reach by funding another PAC aimed at helping fellow moderate Republicans. Morris’s committee pledged about $70,000 dollars in the last two months to a committee that’s also being largely funded by several labor unions.
Missouri Court Upholds Ballot Measures
The Missouri Supreme Court also ruled yesterday that Missouri’s State Auditor does, in fact, have the authority to prepare fiscal notes for citizen-initiated ballot questions. The ruling upholds the fiscal notes prepared by State Auditor Tom Schweich and the ballot language prepared by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan for three questions slated to appear on upcoming ballots. The measures would raise Missouri’s cigarette tax, raise the minimum wage, and cap interest rates on payday loans. Read more here.
City Takes Aim At Area Graffiti
A new Kansas City, Mo. initiative is hoping to get rid of graffiti in several neighborhoods and in some cases, replace it with murals. The Kansas City star reports the city has put $100,000 into a program that would offer trainings, power washers and other equipment to neighborhood groups to remove graffiti and discourage vandals. The city’s public arts administrator and the Municipal Arts Commission also plan to identify and support artists to paint over the graffiti.