NewsLocal News


Missouri lawmaker pre-files bill to increase KCPD funding

Posted at 6:48 PM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 19:48:26-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, will pre-file a bill that would increase funding to the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department.

The move is a direct response from Mayor Quinton Lucas and the City Council passing two ordinances in Spring that changed appropriations for the city's police budget.

At the time, Lucas said the ordinances would help increase accountability for KCPD by re-allocating more than $42 million that had been allocated to the police department to a separate community services fund, which the city would control.

This also decreased the amount of money the city gave the department from 25% of its general revenue fund to 20%, which is the statewide minimum requirement by law.

A Jackson County judge has since ruled that passing the ordinances violated Missouri state law.

Luetkeymeyer calls the move defunding the police and said his bill will increase the minimum statewide requirement up to 25%.

"It's more reflective of the modern funding needs of the department," Luetkemeyer said.

Luetkemeyer argues the statute is out of date since it has not been changed since the 1930's and Kansas City is considerably larger.

"Inflation is way more than 5%, so I think this is a fairly modest increase, and the department is called upon to do a whole host of different things that were not necessarily part of their role in the 1930s," Luetkemeyer said.

Luetkemeyer said his bill also clarifies what constitutes general revenue since he believes members of the City Council have played games over the years with the calculation of general revenue.

"Whether it is from a tax, whether it is from some type of fee, or any other levy that the city collects, that is all pulled together and considered general revenue," Luetkemeyer said.

3rd District Councilwoman Melissa Robinson, calls the bill unfortunate and a step in the wrong direction.

"We are one of the top cities in the nation as it relates to homicide," Robinson said. "On what planet do we continue to double down and continue to increase funding when we are not getting the outcomes and the results that we need?"

Robinson said there's no other police department in Missouri in which the state sets parameters around allocating local taxpayer dollars to public safety.

"Local residents should have some direction and say regarding the outcomes that they're wanting to see as it relates to public safety," Robinson said.

On Tuesday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson weighed in on the bill that Luetkemeyer pre-filed.

"I'm always hesitant to say too much about pre-filed bills, but look he filed a bill and he's trying to show his support for law enforcement and I think that's a good thing," Parson said. "I don't know how the bill comes out but anytime you're showing support to law enforcement that's a big deal to me and I want to do all I can to help."