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MO lawmakers call for special session to overturn recent KCPD budget reform

Letter sent to Gov. Parson
Posted at 12:04 PM, May 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 15:00:11-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Members from the Missouri House of Representatives called on Gov. Mike Parson to hold a special session in Jefferson City in attempts to overturn recent funding reform for the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department.

Last week, Mayor Lucas, in conjunction with nine council members, adopted an ordinance that reallocates $42 million of KCPD's budget into a Community Service Fund.

On Wednesday, four Republican House members who represent the Northland sent a letter to Parson.

It included Reps. Doug Richey, Josh Hurlbert, Sean Pouche and Chris Brown.

"It was with great dismay that we witnessed the Mayor and City Council of Kansas City move against the uniformed law enforcement officers of the Kansas City Police Department by slashing $42 million of the police budget and transferring it into a community service fund," the lawmakers said in the letter. "In light of the rapidly developing situation, we ask that you call a special session of the legislature to address this dangerous action."

Efforts to overturn the ordinances have also begun in Kansas City, Missouri.

On Monday, the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners voted to create a committee in charge of exploring possible litigation over the reforms.

Lucas welcomed the idea of a legal battle over the reforms saying, "We welcome any type of litigation, the reason being because I actually think the whole structure right now violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution."

On Wednesday afternoon, Lucas also responded to the lawmakers' request of the special session.

"While I welcome my Republican friends’ newfound interest in the plight of Kansas Citians, particularly in our inner-city neighborhoods, respectfully, our community, my community, has been in a violent crime crisis for my entire lifetime," Lucas said in a statement. "With more than 100 murders per year in Kansas City for generations, we have to work non-stop and creatively to fix our serious gun violence problem, not continue to look the other way as our state legislature majority has done for too long.