Short-term lenders make big profits in Missouri. QC, which mostly does business as Quik Cash, has 101 outlets in Missouri and in 2012, one-third of the company's profits came from the state, twice as much as from California, its second-most profitable state.
Payday lenders are notorious for their sky high interest rates, and the people who use these storefront creditors are oftentimes the ones least able to pay.
In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with ProPublica reporter Paul Kiel about the situation in Missouri, where attempts to regulate these businesses—such as capping interest rates—keep getting defeated.
In an almost unprecedented public airing, the chief federal prosecutors for both Missouri and Kansas have warned about outcomes they expect if law enforcement budget cuts continue into the next fiscal year.
Tammy Dickinson for the Western District of Missouri, which includes Kansas City, said job furloughs and tightened budgets will hamper the fight against crime.
Dickinson said a little realized consequence is that reducing staff will actually cut federal income, because fewer staff won’t be able to try cases that bring in multi-millions of dollars.
Ever wonder how neighborhoods and parks around the city got their names? Host Monroe Dodd was back during Friday's show with a panel of guests to tell the stories behind the names of public spaces and communities in Kansas City.
Voter registration applications for more than 12,000 people in Kansas are on hold because of missing documents that could prove U.S. citizenship. A state law that took effect this year requires people who register to vote for the first time in Kansas to prove their citizenship.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he's considering a rule change that could allow some of those voters to cast ballots in certain elections.
A study by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that Missouri is in the top ten states when it comes to using cost-benefit analysis of taxpayer money.
Cost-benefit programs analyze the cost of public programs and the benefits they provide taxpayers. In short, it’s the study of how much bang taxpayers are getting for their buck. And it can be a very effective tool when drafting new laws or policy.
The “States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis” report released this week finds that Missouri is one of ten states leading the way in using cost-benefit studies to shape its policy-making.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri introduced a bill Wednesday he says will streamline some government regulations and do away with others altogether.
The bill would have Congress create a new commission, which would take input from the public on which regulations are outdated, unnecessary, or too much of a burden. That commission would report back to Congress with recommendations of what changes to make.
A city council committee has endorsed an ordinance that would outlaw bullying throughout Kansas City, Missouri. As with the city's youth curfew, the onus falls on parents.
The 14 school districts in the city already have policies to protect students from being bullied, as is required by Missouri law.
The problem, says Councilman Scott Taylor, is that school districts' anti-bullying policies are only enforceable on school property. And bullying is not confined to school grounds, especially in the age of the Internet, where online humiliations have even led to suicides.
The income tax bill that would eventually reduce income tax rates by about a half of a percent is likely to not be brought up in veto session next month, according to Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones a Republican from Eureka.
Jones said he currently doesn't have the votes necessary for an override of the governor's veto.
"Overriding the veto would be monumental at this point," Jones said. "I likely would not attempt an override."
Jones added that lawmakers' stances on the bill could be in flux.
The mayoral commission looking at how Kansas City should alter its basic operating doctrine hopes to get suggestions from all living ex-mayors, but the Charter Review Commission is having spotty success.
Because the outcome is so important to the basic layout of government function, members decided former mayors have a lot of valuable history to describe. The panel is trying to schedule former Mayor Charles Wheeler; former Mayor Richard Berkley is ill and unable to appear in the next week or two.
The Kansas City city council is asking city pension fund boards not to invest in companies that manufacture guns – and will request that the Board of Police Commissioners consider the same policy for police retirement funds.
Mayor Sly James told the council that the goal is discussions with firearms companies on letting cities with gun violence problems enact more restrictive gun control laws within their jurisdictions.
The final day of hearings into the Department of Revenue's now-defunct policy of scanning and storing documents of driver's license applicants featured the agency's former director answering questions under oath.
In 2003, Scott Wagner moved to the city's historic Northeast and got interested in neighborhood issues. A year later, Wagner joined the mayor-appointed Kansas City Museum Advisory Board. "I've been involved now for nine years. I've seen quite a bit in that time," he laughs.
Missouri’s House Committee for Downsizing State Government has finished holding a series of public hearings around the state for citizens to share their ideas on how to cut down on state government spending.
The committee began the hearings Tuesday in St. Louis, and finished up Thursday at the Capitol.
Republican Representative Paul Curtman, the committee’s chairman, says citizens across the state turned out to express concerns and ideas about reducing the size of state government.
Kansas Senators Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts say funding for a federal lab to be built in Manhattan has passed an important hurdle.
The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, will study diseases that could be used to attack the nation's food supply. A Senate subcommittee voted earlier this week to approve more than $400 million for the lab.
Moran says that a full Senate committee has now also voted to approve the funding.
“It is a determining factor in NBAF’s future,” says Moran.
Traffic lights, animal cruelty and backyard chickens highlighted Thursday's Kansas City, Mo. city council meeting.
City yields on traffic signals
Half of the Kansas City traffic signals that were turned off late last year will be turned back on, as the city yielded to neighborhood pressure.
Thirty seven traffic lights were turned off in the first wave of phasing out signals at intersections where federal standards say are no longer needed. The lights were also old and in need of replacement at a cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars each.
Three years after taking effect, the Clean Indoor Air Act remains overwhelmingly popular among Kansas voters, according to a statewide public opinion poll. It finds that 78 percent of Kansas voters approve of the law that prohibits smoking in most public places.
One of the tradeoffs made to get the law passed exempts state-operated casinos from the smoking ban.
A state regulatory board has rejected a proposed change to voter registration rules requiring Kansans to show proof of citizenship.
The rules took effect in January. Since then, around 12,000 voter registration applications have been missing citizenship documents. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach pushed for the citizenship law, and for the proposed rule change.