Independence, Mo. – The theme is clear and not unique. Fair bidding on government contracts, no more earmarks and bailouts are legs on which Robin Carnahan sets her Missouri U.S. Senate campaign. She brought the message to Independence today.
Kansas City, Mo. – The first phase of Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser's "Schools First" program was sidelined in a council committee meeting yesterday. A number of citizens testified for the infrastructure improvement plan, and the mayor put in his pitch, including that the only expense next year would be $2 million in debt service.
"When you're spending $3 to $5 million a year and need to be spending many multiples of that, when you have a $1.6 billion backlog, which is what they tell us we have in sidewalks, you have to start somewhere," says Funkhouser.
Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas City, Missouri will create a city department in charge of overseeing city construction projects after all.
The ordinance to create a city Capital Improvements Management Department failed last week on a tie vote with 12 council members present. Councilman John Sharp brought it up for reconsideration yesterday with the tie-breaking vote present.
Supporters, including the mayor and city manager said it will speed up backlogged city construction projects.
Kansas City, Mo. – While Missouri's state senators were playing golf on a day off at the Lake of the Ozarks, Governor Nixon was talking to them - from Claycomo. Governor Nixon was in town promoting a bill that would give Ford Motor Company tax credits for keeping its Claycomo plant open and developing new assembly lines there.
Ford has announced that the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner, Claycomo's two sales stars, will be produced elsewhere and hasn't announced any models for production at the Kansas City plant.
Topeka, Kan. – Lawmakers have wrapped up the two major unresolved issues this session: the budget, and how to fund it. Both chambers had passed budgets that largely protected funding for education and social services. But in order to balance that budget, lawmakers needed about 300 million dollars in new revenue. Monday, they identified that money. Lawmakers passed a one-cent sales tax increase to fill the deficit.
Topeka, Kan. – Kansas lawmakers return to the statehouse on Monday with the hopes of wrapping up the 2010 session. Legislators worked over the weekend trying to tie up loose ends of the last few important issues.
Legislators burned the midnight oil on Friday with house members working until the wee hours of the morning and during the day on Saturday to approve a budget.
A coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans drafted the plan. It would avoid spending cuts to education and social services, but would require a tax increase of more than $300 million to balance.
Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas City city has tentatively agreed to support Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders' transit plan.
Sanders and TranSystems consultant Jim Terry told the council Thursday that by using existing and abandoned rail routes, the tri-county Missouri side of the metro area can have a 134-mile rail-based transit system for about a billion dollars - 8 million a mile.
The system could be expanded to include Johnson and Wyandotte Counties, and would be based on a Union Station hub.
Kansas City, Mo. – Missouri Highway construction will take a dramatic loss by a redrawn five-year program presented the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission today. It is no more dramatic than seen in the Kansas City revisions.