Government

KCUR News
6:34 am
Wed January 6, 2010

Nixon Calls for Keeping Business in the Show-Me State

Springfield, MO – Governor Jay Nixon says he wants to create a more level playing field for businesses that have been in Missouri for several years.

He stopped in Springfield and Kansas City today to outline his new "Missouri First" proposal. That proposal will be considered during the 2010 legislative session, which begins tomorrow.

The Missouri First program would allow the state to raise the cap on tax credits and other incentive programs for companies that choose to expand in-state instead of moving elsewhere.

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KCUR News
10:02 am
Thu December 31, 2009

How Soon Do You Want That Money?

Topeka, KS – Kansans settled into the old ways of filing tax returns are being given a sobering caveat . Budget woes have caught up with the state revenue department and obvious signs are near at hand.

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KCUR News
9:48 am
Thu December 31, 2009

Missouri Governor Urges Ethics Reform

St. Louis, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is urging state legislators to craft a comprehensive ethics reform bill in 2010.

In a two-page letter Nixon outlined 4 core elements he says are necessary to strengthen the credibility of Missouri's elected officials.

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KCUR News
9:45 am
Thu December 31, 2009

Redevelopment Planned for Site of Jefferson City Prison

Jefferson City, MO – State and local officials have unveiled redevelopment plans for the old Missouri State Prison in Jefferson City.

Plans for the 140-acre site include government buildings, privately-owned residential and retail space, and preserving much of the historical prison facility. Kelvin Simmons heads Governor Nixon's Office of Administration:

"We'll continue to try to do the environmental, do the clean-up, get the infrastructure in place, and then the next thing is try to entice private developers."

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KCUR News
4:37 pm
Tue December 29, 2009

Dear Judge

Mayor Shay Baker in a happier time, one month before her controversial ouster.
kcur photo by dan verbeck

Leavenworth, KS. – The Leavenworth City Commission was out of line when it ousted the mayor earlier this year. The opinion has no power of law, but it does come from the Kansas Attorney General.

Mayor Shay Baker was taken out of her role as mayor last September but stayed on as elected member of the city commission. She was removed from office after siding with a convicted drug dealer who asked leniency from a judge. Her letter of recommendation was on city stationary and included a mayor's business card.

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KCUR News
3:47 pm
Mon December 28, 2009

Drive Being Drawn to Sink E-Tax

Jefferson City, MO – The way is clear to collect signatures on initiative petitions to eliminate or phase out earnings taxes in Kansas City and St. Louis. Those taxes are budgeted to bring nearly $200 million to Kansas City next year.

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KCUR News
4:49 pm
Mon December 21, 2009

Nod To Rail Hub: Protests Unabated

Gardner, KS – A Kansas group opposed to a huge rail hub in Johnson County calls issuance of a federal permit,"arbitrary" and "capricious," and threatens a lawsuit to block it. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved construction for the 400 acre project.

The permit will allow one of the largest economic development ventures in the Kansas City area. Developer BNSF Railway plans to build on the 400 acre site off Interstate 35 near Gardner.

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KCUR News
10:36 am
Mon December 21, 2009

Kansas Governor Will Likely Push for Tobacco Tax Increase

Topeka, KS – Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson is likely to push for increasing the state's tobacco tax in the coming legislative session, to make up for a budget shortfall.

He says Kansas could face a deficit of more than 300 million dollars in the coming fiscal year.

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KCUR News
2:29 am
Fri December 18, 2009

Council Exempts Combat Pay from E-Tax

Kansas City, MO – Federal and state law exempt combat pay from income taxes, but nobody at City Hall had ever thought of it until Jim Kissinger, a northland resident, suggested it to Mayor Funkhouser and Councilman Russ Johnson.

Kissinger has a son-in-law, Ryan Paulson, who is serving in Afghanistan with the Missouri National Guard. Funkhouser put together an ordinance, and it became of the quickest measures to pass in recent memory.

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KCUR News
2:33 am
Thu December 17, 2009

Council Considers 'Deck' Over I-670 Downtown

Kansas City, MO – The idea has been around for several years - make the below-grade sections of I-670 between Wyandotte and Oak disappear by capping the freeway with a big deck more than a third of a mile long.

It recently gained momentum when MoDOT said four bridges over 670 in the area would have to be replaced within the next ten to fifteen years. Why not, said some planners, build the deck in conjunction with the bridges.

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KCUR News
10:15 am
Fri December 11, 2009

Carnahan and Montee Sued over Ballot Measures

Jefferson City, MO – A group opposing abortion and a type of stem cell research they consider to be human cloning has filed a federal lawsuit against Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan and State Auditor Susan Montee.

Missouri Roundtable for Life accuses Carnahan of using language in their ballot questions designed to prejudice voters against their initiatives, and accuses Montee of drafting financial impact statements that are also designed to have a negative impact.

Laura Egerdal is a spokesperson for Carnahan.

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Kansas Statehouse
6:29 am
Fri December 11, 2009

Kansas Begins Redistricing Process

Kansas lawmakers are starting the years-long task of redrawing the lines for both national and state political offices. An advisory group began meeting this week in Topeka to look at the redistricting process.

KCUR News
2:43 am
Fri December 11, 2009

Council PutsTeeth In Dress Codes Resolution

Kansas City, MO – Violation of the Kansas City, Missouri dress code enforcement and public accommodations ordinances now become punishable with a license suspension. The council made that decision Thursday and gave the department of Regulated Industries the power to act on it.

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KCUR News
9:40 am
Thu December 10, 2009

Businesses Ask for Lawmakers Support

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri lawmakers are being urged to provide moral support, as well as funding, to the state's small business interests during the upcoming legislative session.

Mary Davis is president and CEO of Missouri Enterprise, a non-profit group that advocates for small business interests. She asked a House committee Wednesday to publicly commit to supporting the state's small and mid-level manufacturers:

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KCUR News
8:22 am
Tue December 8, 2009

Missouri Down $1 Billion in 2010

Kansas City, MO – Senate budget writers say that the state of Missouri will likely have one billion dollars less to work with than it did prior to the 2009 legislative session.

The Senate Appropriations Committee is taking testimony this week from various people and agencies who want at least the same amount of funding for the next fiscal year, if not more.

Committee member and GOP Senator David Pearce believes revenues will continue to trend downward.

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KCUR News
7:51 pm
Mon December 7, 2009

Secretaries of State Tout Military Voting Changes

National Guard members and fellow chief election officers listen as Robin Carnahan talks about voting from combat zones.
Photo by Steve Bell. Click to enlarge.

Kansas City, MO – Voting will soon become easier for military service members stationed in other countries. That's the gist of a report the Secretaries of State of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska gave at Liberty Memorial yesterday.

The four election officials summarized progress on implementation of overseas voting changes passed by Congress in October.

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KCUR News
3:06 pm
Mon December 7, 2009

Local Reactions Vary To Announcement of Troop Surge

Kansas City, MO – Last Tuesday night, President Barack Obama announced he'll be sending 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. The morning after Obama's speech, KCUR's Elana Gordon headed downtown to gauge Kansas Citians' reactions to the surge.

Voices heard were David Hill, Mike Reynolds, Lucy Rios, Gayla Curtis and John Biswell.

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KCUR News
10:55 am
Mon December 7, 2009

Missouri Medicaid Eligibility to be Issue in 2010 Session

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says he's still determined to boost the number of poor Missourians eligible for Medicaid.

The Democratic governor failed to persuade the GOP-led General Assembly earlier this year to expand Medicaid coverage to 35,000. He says he'll try again when the 2010 session begins next month.

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KCUR News
10:17 am
Fri December 4, 2009

Council Endorses Downtown for New GSA Building

Kansas City, MO –
A 33 million contract with Motorola for new emergency responder radios sailed through the city council Thursday without a dissenting vote. The council also decided unanimously to take one more week to work out the details of a monitoring commission for the Power and Light District dress code... then turned its attention to getting some major bricks and mortar. KCUR's Steve Bell reports.

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KCUR News
10:14 am
Fri December 4, 2009

Second Kansas Lawmaker Resigns In A Week

Kansas City, MO –
For the second time this week a member of the Kansas legislature has announced his resignation. Republican Wichita Representative Jason Watkins has said he'll leave the legislature effective later this week.

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KCUR News
9:01 am
Thu December 3, 2009

Brownback Says Bidding Process Should Not Change

Lawrence, KS – U.S. Senator Sam Brownback says the Pentagon shouldn't revise the bidding process for a multibillion dollar aircraft contract. Both Boeing and a partnership between Northrop Grumman and European aircraft maker Airbus are seeking the contract to build Air Force refueling tankers. Northrop Grumman and Airbus want the bidding requirements to be changed and is threatening not to bid if they aren't. Brownback says there's a process in place for contracts like this.

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KCUR News
8:25 am
Thu December 3, 2009

Kansas City Council Considers Emergency Responder Radio Upgrades

Kansas City, MO Assistant City Manager Rich Noll

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City city council will vote today on a finalized contract with Motorola to provide a new emergency responder radio system.

The Finance and Audit Committee approved the contract yesterday.

Assistant City Manager Rich Noll provided a timetable for the upgrade.

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KCUR News
8:18 am
Thu December 3, 2009

Enviromentalist Wants Missouri Attorney General to Return Hog Farm Money

Jefferson City, MO – An environmental advocate is calling on Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster to return a campaign contribution made last year from a company that owns eleven hog farms in the northern part of the state.

Premium Standard Farms is under a court order to make improvements to its operations.

Ken Midkiff with the Missouri Clean Water Campaign says Koster accepted a $2500 donation from Smithfield Foods, which owns Premium Standard Farms, just days before the 2008 Democratic Party primary:

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KCUR News
8:28 am
Wed December 2, 2009

One In Ten Kansas Jobs Related To The Military

Topeka, KS – A new report puts the total economic impact from the military in Kansas at nearly $8 billion. The Governor's Military Council released the report. It says nearly 170,000 jobs in 2006 were driven by military installations in the state and defense contracts awarded in Kansas. John Armbrust is director of the Governor's Military Council. Armbrust says the impact in Kansas has likely grown in recent years because of more military presence in the state.

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KCUR News
8:10 am
Wed December 2, 2009

Mo. Bills Would Reform Campaign Contributions

Jefferson City, MO – Bills addressing campaign finance reform in Missouri have been pre-filed, just over a month before the start of the 2010 legislative session

One bill would restore campaign contribution limits that were removed in 2007, restored by the Missouri Supreme Court later that same year, and then removed again by GOP lawmakers and former Governor Matt Blunt in 2008. The proposal to again restore limits is sponsored by Democratic Floor Leader Paul LeVota:

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KCUR News
5:40 pm
Wed November 25, 2009

Clergy, Brooks Protest Cauthen Firing

Former mayoral candidate Alvin Brooks listens as the Reverend Wallace Hartzfield says the firing of the city manager was Handled in a \"wrong and immoral\" way.
Photo by Steve Bell.

Kansas City, MO – African-American clergy protested the way City Manager Wayne Cauthen was fired. The group, called Concerned Clergy, held a news conference Wednesday in the foyer of a Swope Parkway church at which three ministers spoke.

One was long-time civil rights leader Wallace Hartzfield, who said of the way Cauthen was fired, "It may have been legal, but it was wrong.

Hartzfielda continued by saying that Cauthen was treated in an inappropriate and dehumanizing way.

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KCUR News
9:01 am
Wed November 25, 2009

Moore Retirement Has Parties Scurrying

Kansas City – Those on the inner circle may have known Dennis Moore was considering retirement, but for many who watch the politics of the complicated Kansas 3rd district, it was an abrupt announcement that caught them off guard. Republican National Congressional Committee spokesman Tom Erickson called Moore's decision "a welcome surprise." He said Republicans believe Democrats can't win the 3rd District without Dennis Moore, who has held the seat with the help of moderate Republicans and independents in suburban Kansas Johnson County for six terms.

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KCUR News
6:47 pm
Tue November 24, 2009

Moore Gives His Reason: Twelve Years Is Enough

Olathe, Kansas – The Congressman reiterated that the only reason he was retiring was to spend more time with his family - his wife, children and grandchildren.

Moore spoke quietly as he said again that he was tired, that this had been a particularly frustrating and grueling session of Congress.

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KCUR News
2:15 pm
Mon November 23, 2009

KU Prof Discusses US Rep. Moore's Decision Not To Seek Re-Election

Kansas City , Mo. – Up to Date host Steve Kraske talks with University of Kansas political science professor Burdett Loomis about Moore, and what the decision means for next year's mid-term elections.

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