Government

Political news

Photo courtesy of Hyatt Hotel Corp.

Both groups opposing the planned 800-room convention hotel adjacent to Bartle Hall in downtown Kansas City say they are standing their ground.

The City Council heard lengthy presentations on Thursday from city staff as well as representatives of the developers of the proposed hotel and convention and tourism officials.

 

The council is gathering information in preparation for a decision on what to do about a petition drive for a public vote on whether the city should be financially involved in developing the hotel.

 

KCUR

A new proposal to use public financing to renovate a building in the Crossroads Arts District received unexpected opposition this month, surprising the respected Kansas City architectural firm at the heart of the proposal and its developer. 

 

The most adamant objections to the proposed tax increment financing, or TIF, plan were from school district parents and the Urban Summit of Greater Kansas City. But Kansas City School District Interim Superintendent Al Tunis joined in, asking to renegotiate a payment-in-lieu-of taxes agreement on the building.

 

Hyatt Hotels

As the Kansas City Council struggles with whether to honor a successful petition drive for a public vote on a planned downtown convention hotel, developers tell the council a delay for the election could be a deal-breaker.

Among the stakeholders in a lengthy Thursday presentation to city council members was Steven Rattner, a finance specialist with the developer of the 800-room hotel. Rattner rold the council that the developer began spending significant time and money on the project in May, after a detailed agreement was signed with the city.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Barbara Bollier from Mission Hills, provides an insider perspective on the Kansas Legislature as we discuss education, and declining revenue numbers.

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on iTunes.

Guests:

Kansas City's one percent earnings tax is up for renewal in 2016.  Since the passage of Missouri ballot initiative “Proposition A” in 2010, Kansas City and St. Louis must submit their e-taxes to the voters for renewal every five years. 

Kansas City voters overwhelmingly voted to renew the tax in April 2011. But uncertainty over whether it will be renewed again next year looms over city budgets and the city's credit rating.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Barbara Bollier from Mission Hills, provides an insider perspective on the Kansas Legislature as we discuss education, and declining revenue numbers.

Guests:

Martin Gonzales - Wikipedia

Why doesn't the city of Kansas City, Missouri, foreclose on neglected properties and find buyers that will revitalize them?  After all, it's a common sight around parts of the city: boarded-up property that someone has clearly broken into, stripping out the wiring and plumbing, or even living inside.

The problem is that the current Missouri nuisance property foreclosure law defines “nuisance” only in terms of whether a property is structurally sound, says Holly Dodge of the city's legal department.

Populous

With Kansas City revved on Royals post-season play, a city council committee laid the groundwork for phase two of the development of the planned Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Parade Park near 18th and Vine.

Mayor Sly James announced the $14 million baseball project in late September, explaining that funding for phase one was in place. The Royals and, Major League Baseball had committed $2 million and the MLB Players Association another $1 million. The state of Missouri and the city were to combine resources to match those contributions.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Sen. Jim Denning from Overland Park provides an insider perspective on the Kansas Legislature as we discuss Medicaid expansion and the Kansas budget.

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on iTunes.

Guests:

Dave Ranney / Heartland Health Monitor

One of the top Republicans in the Kansas Senate says it’s time to fix the causes of the state’s ongoing budget problems.

During an appearance on the KCUR podcast Statehouse Blend, Sen. Jim Denning, an Overland Park Republican and vice chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said recurring budget shortfalls have convinced him that the income tax cuts the Legislature passed in 2012 aren’t working.

The Republican field for Missouri governor has grown larger. St. Louis businessman John Brunner announced his candidacy this morning in a pre-recorded YouTube video.

Hyatt Hotels

Faced with the prospect of a lawsuit from petitioners if a referendum on a new downtown hotel does not go on the ballot, Kansas City council members worry that more costly lawsuits could result if they honor the 1,700 petition signatures filed. 

The outgoing city council approved the deal on the $311 million, 800-room hotel in July.  The deal involves $164 million in city participation, but the commitment does not add to the city's debt load, and City Manager Troy Schulte says all city cash obligations would come from tourism taxes, not from the general fund.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Sen. Jim Denning from Overland Park provides an insider perspective on the Kansas Legislature as we discuss Medicaid expansion and the Kansas budget.

Guests:

Jarrett Stewart / Flickr-CC

A Prospect Avenue bus rapid transit corridor moved a step closer to reality at Thursday's meeting of the Kansas City City Council.

The resolution passed by the Kansas City council commits to partial matching funds so the ATA can proceed with its application for a $30 million federal grant to expand the “MAX” bus rapid transit system to what is now the city's second-most utilized bus route.

Councilman Jermaine Reed said the Prospect line has about 6,000 regular riders. The MAX now operates in two corridors: Troost Avenue and Main Street.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Missouri Rep. Jeremy LaFaver from District 025 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss the future of Democrats in Missouri, Planned Parenthood, and Tobacco taxes.

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on iTunes.

Guests:

  • Jeremy LaFaver, Rep. from District 025, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Meredith Adams, Citizen
  • Cody Newill, General Assignment Reporter, KCUR
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Missouri Rep. Jeremy LaFaver from District 025 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss legislative term limits, Planned Parenthood, and Medicaid.

Guests:

  • Jeremy LaFaver, Rep. from District 025, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Meredith Adams, Citizen
  • Cody Newill, General Assignment Reporter, KCUR
City of Kansas City, Missouri

An effort to put a downtown convention hotel up for a public vote took another official step forward Thursday.

But where it goes from here remains unclear. 

Officials with the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners say they have counted and validated signatures on a petition filed this week by a group seeking to challenge a recently inked deal to develop an 800-room Hyatt Hotel next to Bartle Hall

Cody Newill / KCUR

A court order Tuesday has officially killed the petition initiative to raise the minimum wage in Kansas City.

Presiding Judge Justine Del Muro of the Jackson County Circuit Court ruled Tuesday that the initiative, which called for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, should be removed from the Nov. 3 ballot.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Stephanie Clayton from Overland Park, provides an insider perspective on the Kansas Legislature as we discuss education, sales tax, and government transparency. 

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on iTunes.

Guests:

  • Stephanie Clayton, Rep. for the 19th District, Kansas Legislature 
  • David Jordan, citizen from Lawrence, Kansas 
  • Steve Vockrodt, Staff Writer, The Pitch
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

On this podcast exclusive episode of Statehouse Blend, reporters break down the Missouri General Assembly veto override session, discussing right-to-work, minimum wage and other legislative issues.

Guests:

  • Elle Moxley, General Assignment Reporter, KCUR
  • Barbara Shelly, Columnist, The Kansas City Star
  • Jason Hancock, Jefferson City Correspondent, The Kansas City Star
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Stephanie Clayton from Overland Park, provides an insider perspective on the Kansas Legislature as we discuss education, sales tax, and government transparency. 

Guests:

  • Stephanie Clayton, Rep. for the 19th District, Kansas Legislature 
  • David Jordan, citizen from Lawrence, Kansas 
  • Steve Vockrodt, Staff Writer, The Pitch
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Missouri Rep. T. J. Berry from District 038 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss alternative energy, right-to-work legislation, and the death penalty.

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on iTunes.

Guests:

  • T.J. Berry, Rep. for District 038, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Harvey Oxman, Citizen Voice
  • Matthew Long-Middleton, Central Standard Producer, KCUR
Cody Newill / KCUR

More than 500 union members and politicians rallied in Kansas City on Saturday to show their support for Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a so-called "right-to-work" bill.

International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James P. Hoffa spoke passionately to the crowd of people packed into the Teamsters Local 41 hall.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Missouri Rep. T. J. Berry from District 038 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss alternative energy, right-to-work legislation, and the death penalty.

Guests:

  • T.J. Berry, Rep. for District 038, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Harvey Oxman, Citizen Voice
  • Matthew Long-Middleton, Central Standard Producer, KCUR
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Missouri Rep. Lauren Arthur from District 018 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss ethics reform, right to work, and the upcoming veto session.

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on iTunes.

Guests:

  • Lauren Arthur, Rep. for District 018, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Mark Conarroe, Citizen Voice
  • Laura Ziegler, Special Correspondent, KCUR
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Missouri Rep. Lauren Arthur from District 018 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss ethics reform, right to work, and the upcoming veto session.

Guests:

  • Lauren Arthur, Rep. for District 018, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Mark Conarroe, Citizen Voice
  • Laura Ziegler, Special Correspondent, KCUR
Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

If President Obama closes the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, the suspected terrorists who are housed there might be transferred to the military prison at Fort Leavenworth. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has spoken out against that idea. Thursday, he brought that message to Leavenworth and heard from the people who would be most directly affected: local residents.

Funding For Kansas Court System Threatened

Sep 3, 2015

Funding for the entire Kansas judicial system is now in legal limbo. A Shawnee County judge has struck down a law that changes the way chief judges are selected. But that law was tied to other legislation that said all funding for the judicial branch of government would be stripped away if the first law was struck down.

A Kansas City council committee advanced a rare redevelopment plan Wednesday: one that would renovate 304 apartments in the urban core. 

The issue is blight, one all too common in Kansas City's 3rd District.

Green Village Apartments along Topping between 17th and 23rd Streets were built in the late 1960s and early 1970s. 

The 304-unit complex was kept nearly full for more than 20 years, but now 70 percent of the apartments are vacant.

Roxsen Koch of the Polsinelli law firm spoke on behalf of the developer who wants to renovate the 1-4 bedroom apartments. 

City of Kansas City, Missouri

This week's promise that the first of Kansas City's four streetcars will be delivered by Oct. 29 improved the chances of having the starter line open as hoped for Big-12 Tournament crowds in March.

A delivery date moved back from June to December would have made a March start virtually impossible.

City Manager Troy Sculte, streetcar project director Ralph Davis and Streetcar Authority Executive Director Tom Gerend all vowed Thursday to do their best to meet the March start goal.  And all believed it is possible if everything goes right. 

Pages