Government

KCUR News
6:20 pm
Fri September 17, 2010

Moore, Yoder Try To Sound Different Notes In First Debate

Kansas City, Missouri – Kansas 3rd Congressional District Democratic candidate Stephene Moore defined herself as a nurse, businesswoman,and a grandmother. She is also the wife of the retiring , 6-term incumbent Dennis Moore.

Moore said her main opponent, Kevin Yoder, was a career politician running from a flip floppy record as a Kansas legislator. She pointed out he'd voted for sales, income, and excise taxes during his years as a legislator.

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KCUR News
1:46 am
Fri September 10, 2010

MAST Defended; Pension Upgrade on Hold

Councilman Terry Riley tells colleagues that approving a MAST pension proposal without further study \"is not prudent.\"

Kansas City, MO – A plan to give MAST ambulance employees better retirement benefits is on hold for at least another two weeks after four council members blocked a quick vote on it Thursday.

The non-profit MAST ambulance service became part of the Fire Department this spring. And the plan finally proposed offered full retirement benefits and credit for previous years of service.

The city manager said funding that could cost up to $40 million dollars that could be paid in over ten or more years and in the long run offset by savings.

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KCUR News
2:07 am
Thu September 9, 2010

MAST Pensions Could Cost $40 Million

City Manager Troy Schulte explains the MAST pension plan.
Photo courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2. (Click to enlarge.)

Kansas City, MO – Ever since the city started talking about taking over the ambulance service about three years ago, it has promised MAST workers they would get a retirement system comparable to that of other public safety employees crediting the time they have worked for the non-profit ambulance service.

With 320 of those employees now working for the city, City Manager Troy Schulte says it could cost the city up to $40 million to fund that pension plan.

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KCUR News
6:16 pm
Tue September 7, 2010

Main Core Makeover Nears

Innovative seating planned for Main Core.
photo courtesy KCCG

Kansas City, MO – Nine blocks of Kansas City Main Street leading into Westport from the north are about to get a pedestrian-friendly makeover. The city public works department late last week took a look at the 90 percent of the plan that's been finished.

From 34th to 43rd and then spreading out along the southern boundary in the Art Institute District, Main will be altered with added street lighting, planters and landscape architecture.

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KC Currents
3:11 pm
Tue September 7, 2010

Redistricting Explained

Kansas City, MO – The latest battle raging in Kansas City's council chambers has been over district boundaries. According to the charter, the city is supposed to re-draw the district map after every three general elections, which means about every 12 years, or whenever the population shifts dramatically. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross and Steve Bell talk about what's at stake.

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KCUR News
4:40 pm
Fri September 3, 2010

Discarded Baby Regs to Grow in KC

Kathy Jolly, whose Council Committee sent the measure to the floor for action.

Kansas City, MO – Eight years after Missouri passed a law to protect abandoned babies, Kansas City, Missouri agrees to take part in a program letting the public know about it.
It doesn't happen often, but when a newborn is abandoned and in danger there is general shock and horror.

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KCUR News
1:43 am
Fri September 3, 2010

Council Overrides Redistricting Veto

Councilman Ed Ford argues in vain that sending the voters the charter change will be divisive and undermine efforts to renew the public safety sales tax.
Photo courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2. Click to enlarge.

Kansas City, MO – The mayor's veto did not stand. The Kansas City city council voted yesterday to put a measure changing the city's redistricting schedule on the November ballot.

Northland members and the mayor who had opposed moving now to tie the redistricting schedule to the release of census data argued that the council was rushing to enact something that wouldn't make any difference for twenty years... and could undermine efforts to renew the public safety sales tax.

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KCUR News
5:58 pm
Thu September 2, 2010

Road Builders Accused of Polluting

Kansas City, KS – The Environmental Protection Agency accuses MoDOT of failing to protect streams along two highway construction jobs. Inspectors allegedly found sediment was allowed to seep into a half dozen creeks and unnamed tributaries in Camden and Wayne Counties in central Missouri.

The waterways flow into Lake of the Ozarks.

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KCUR News
12:18 am
Tue August 31, 2010

Funkhouser Vetoes Redistricting Change

Kansas City, MO – For the second time in as many weeks, Mark Funkhouser has used his veto power - this time on a ballot measure to amend the city charter so council redistricting could possibly wait until after new census ethnic distribution data is released.

The mayor says the the US Constitution mandates that redistricting must be done before the spring city election because Northland districts are underrepresented, and that the city will be found in violation of the constitution if it does not correct that situation.

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KCUR News
1:51 am
Fri August 27, 2010

Council Moves for Redistricting "Plan B"

Councilman John Sharp holds one proposed redistricting map that he says would disenfranchise African-American voters.
Photo courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2.

Kansas City, MO – Mayor Mark Funkhouser came out on the losing side of two significant council votes yesterday.

The first defeat for the mayor was the override of his veto of the council's renewing the appointment of the chairman of the Port Authority, which the mayor has said needs more of an "international flavor."

Then the mayor voted with the four Northland council members on a move to send a charter amendment to voters that could delay redrawing council district boundaries if the council deadlocks on the issue.

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KCUR News
5:30 pm
Wed August 25, 2010

City Renews Attack on High Weeds

Kansas City Treasurer Tammy Queen.
picture courtesy kccg

Kansas City, MO – Property owners who have let yards go to seed owe Kansas City more than a million dollars. Next week the City Council will vote whether to get tough.

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KCUR News
5:40 pm
Mon August 23, 2010

Sketch Now, Picture Later in Political Redraw

Redistrict Advisory Chair Janet Brown convenes ad hoc panel.

Kansas City, MO – A blue ribbon panel has started hearings toward redrawing Kansas City Council boundaries without stepping on voting rights of minority groups. This afternoon it was told the weight of its responsibility.

The city is required by charter to redraw the lines before next March's election.

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KCUR News
2:08 am
Fri August 20, 2010

Sales Tax to Voters, But Not Charter Change

Mayor Mark Funkhouser brandishes an agreement to add 80 police officers. The police chief and council rejected it.

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City, Missouri will proceed with plans to put the public safety sales tax up for renewal in November. But the city won't change its redistricting plans despite pressure from civil rights leaders.

The city council has voted to send voters a buildings and equipment only plan for the quarter-cent sales tax if they approve its extension. The project list includes two new police stations, a new CSI lab, and replacements for aging helicopters.

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KCUR News
4:59 pm
Thu August 19, 2010

Council Moves to Delay Redistricting

Councilman Terry Riley warns the Finance and Audit Committee about redistricting without current racial and ethnic data.
Click to enlarge.

Kansas City, MO – The newly appointed panel charged with recommending a redistricting plan for Kansas City, Missouri held a lengthy first meeting yesterday, but it's possible the real decision making won't start until April.

The city charter mandates that redistricting be in place by the March election, but that would require a second effort after new census data is released, probably in April.

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KCUR News
4:54 pm
Thu August 19, 2010

Video Pulled from Blunt's Site

St. Louis, MO – A short video featuring an interview with Missouri Democratic Senate nominee Robin Carnahan combined with a photo of World Trade Center rubble has been removed from Republican Roy Blunt's YouTube site. The clip contains a radio interview, in which Carnahan says she would not try to tell New Yorkers whether or not a mosque should be built near the site of the 9-11 attack. When St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin asked Blunt about the video, Blunt objected to the question:

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KCUR News
4:57 pm
Wed August 18, 2010

Senate Foes Trade Shots

U.S. Senate candidate Robin Carnahan tours Kansas City's Boulevard Brewery on business analysis sortie.
photo by dan verbeck

Kansas City, MO – The Democrat running for U.S. Senate in Missouri says her G.O.P. opponent is deflecting blame for the terrible economy, making wrong assumptions.

Robin Carnahan said during Kansas City campaigning today that Republican Roy Blunt, 14 years in Congress, has arrived late to repair the damage.

Blunt said this week that the Missouri Secretary of State, if elected to the Senate, would not help private sector job growth because she would side with the Obama Administration and Congress.

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KCUR News
10:03 am
Wed August 18, 2010

Brownback Wants New K-12 Funding Formula

Topeka, KS – GOP candidate for governor, Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, has continued outlining what he calls his "Road Map for Kansas." He appeared in Emporia to detail how he would handle education.

Brownback is taking on state Senator Tom Holland, of Baldwin City, the Democratic nominee for governor.

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KCUR News
5:15 pm
Tue August 17, 2010

Blunt Business Base is Bolstered

U.S. Chamber of Commerce V.P. Bill Miller, flanked by U.S. Sen. Kit Bond (l) and Cong. Roy Blunt (r).
photo by dan verbeck

Kansas City, MO – In his run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Missouri's Christopher Bond, Congressman Roy Blunt is pushing private sector jobs creation.

The Republican candidate was touring the state, picking up the endorsement of the Missouri and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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Redistricting
5:01 pm
Tue August 17, 2010

Boundary Issues: The Politics and Practice of Redistricting

Kansas City, MO –

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KCUR News
12:02 pm
Mon August 16, 2010

Advocates for Disabled, Elderly Call for Medicaid Funding

Topkea, KS – Advocates for the elderly and disabled lined up today before a legislative committee to spell out how budget cuts have affected state services. The Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services heard the testimony at the Statehouse.

For six months this year, a 10% cut in the amount paid to Medicaid service providers caused some reductions in services and waiting lists to swell. That's according to Don Jordan, Secretary of the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services.

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KCUR News
2:22 am
Sat August 14, 2010

City Files Suit to Stop E-Tax Vote

Kansas City, MO – Mayor Mark Funkhouser says: "We're going to war on the e-tax."

Kansas City filed suit late Friday, challenging the constitutionality of the ballot measure that would force a vote on the city's earnings tax every five years and prohibit other Missouri cities from taxing incomes.

The suit says the initiative violates the state's single-subject rule, fails to make necessary distinctions between personal and business versions of the tax and mandates elections without funding them... an unfunded mandate.

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KCUR News
7:36 am
Fri August 6, 2010

Missouri Expects Billion Dollar Income Deficit In 2012

Missouri can expect a $1 billion income deficit in the 2012 fiscal year according to an assessment of the nonprofit Missouri Budget Project.

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KCUR News
3:07 am
Thu August 5, 2010

Council Buys Time On Sales Tax Plan

Kansas City, MO – With the November ballot deadline looming and the public safety sales tax due to expire, the Kansas City city council is still divided on exactly what to put before the voters.

Some council members want to go with the plan presented by the police board and Chief Jim Corwin: keep things the way they are and dedicate the tax renewal to new police stations, a crime lab and replacing Vietnam War era helicopters.

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KCUR News
3:37 pm
Wed August 4, 2010

Political Pundits Review Election Results

Steve Kraske talks with our Political Pundits, The Kansas City Star's Dave Helling and KMBC's Micheal Mahoney, about where the candidates are positioned after the primaries and what can be expected in the general elections.

Listen to the program or download the podcast here

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KCUR News
6:41 am
Wed August 4, 2010

Blunt beats Purgason, prepares to battle Carnahan

In the race to replace retiring Missouri Senator Kit Bond, Roy Blunt, a congressman from southwest Missouri, won a nine-way Republican Senate primary over tea party contender Chuck Purgason. Blunt had 71 percent of the vote to Purgason's 13 percent. But Purgason says the race was worth the effort.

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KCUR News
6:34 am
Wed August 4, 2010

Yoder Wins Kansas Republican 3rd District Primary

Kansas State Rep. Kevin Yoder of Overland Park won the Republican primary in the 3rd Congressional District. That covers all of Johnson and Wyandotte counties and the eastern portion of Douglas County, including parts of Lawrence.

Yoder, the House Appropriation Committee chairman, defeated eight other Republicans yesterday. His closest challenger was former state House member Patricia Lightner of Olathe.

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KCUR News
6:31 am
Wed August 4, 2010

Kobach Wins GOP Primary For Kansas Secretary Of State

A law professor who helped draft Arizona's new immigration statute won the Republican primary for Kansas secretary of state.

Kris Kobach defeated two other GOP candidates Tuesday- Shawnee County Election Commissioner Elizabeth Ensley of Topeka and former chief executive officer of the National Association of Government Contractors J.R. Claeys of Salina.

Kobach had linked illegal immigration to voter fraud. Because of his immigration work critics question whether he will be a full-time secretary of state.

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KCUR News
6:27 am
Wed August 4, 2010

Moran Squeezes Past Tiahrt, Looks Forward To Johnston

With most of the votes counted, Kansas Congressman Jerry Moran had just shy of 50 percent to overcome Representative Todd Tiahrt's 45 percent. Two minor candidates split the rest.

"I'm honored by your enthusiasm," said Moran. "Let's take this enthusiasm and take it to November and restore America."

Only a few thousand votes separated the candidates at the end. Moran goes into November facing Democratic primary winner Lisa Johnston who is a dean at Baker University. Kansas has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1932.

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KCUR News
12:59 am
Wed August 4, 2010

Crystal Williams Defeats Jackson County Chair Henry Rizzo

Crystal Williams at her election party at Mike's Tavern.
Photo by Anthonia Akitunde.

Most Jackson County legislators will return to their seats after last night's primaries, with the exception of the legislature's chair.

Newcomer Crystal Williams defeated incumbent Henry Rizzo 50 to 43 in the second district at-large. Williams said she thinks people were ready for a change.

"The discussions that I had with the people of Jackson County about openness and transparency in county government is something that really resonated with folks," Williams said.

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KCUR News
8:27 pm
Tue August 3, 2010

First Vote on E-Tax will be on November Ballot

A measure which could lead to the elimination of earnings taxes in St. Louis and Kansas City will be on the November ballot.

The measure was one of two certified Tuesday by the Missouri Secretary of State. If it's approved in November, voters in St. Louis and Kansas City would decide in November 2011 whether or not to keep their city's earnings tax, which make up a sizable portion of the budget in each city. The measure also prevents other cities from implementing an earnings tax in the future.

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