JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Current Missouri law requires Kansas City, Missouri, to spend 20% of the city’s general revenue on the police department. But Republican State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer from Parkville, who also represents some in Kansas City, is sponsoring a bill to increase that funding to 25%.
His bill passed the State Senate Thursday morning.
“It’s the amount the department had been receiving in the years leading up to last May when the city council voted to strip over $43 million out of the KCPD’s budget,” Luetkemeyer said Thursday. “So this is something that makes sure that we’re adequately funding the police department in Kansas City.”
A judge ultimately ruled against the community services fund, so the money never went there, but Luetkemeyer said that’s only because it had already been appropriated.
“Really the judge just saved the KCPD from the defund efforts of the Kansas City City Council for last year.”
“That’s inaccurate. It’s untrue. It’s a false narrative,” Kansas City Councilwoman Melissa Robinson said Thursday in response to Luetkemeyer.
Robinson said she just wants to make sure there are enough officers on the streets to be able to respond to the large number of calls that happen in her district.
“There is no way that the individuals who voted on the separate fund would want to take resources away from those efforts and away from the Kansas City Police Department,” she continued.
Robinson will not have a say though will this bill at the state level. Luetkemeyer believes the state house may take up his bill in the next two weeks. He also thinks it has support from Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.