KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mayor Quinton Lucas has issue with the language on the amendment on police funding for the Kansas City Police Department.
All registered voters in Missouri will be able to vote on this measure in November. It would require the city to pay its police department 25% of its general revenue as opposed to just 20%, which is what’s currently required.
The language the mayor has issue with states: “State and local governmental entities estimate no additional costs or savings related to this proposal.”
“That is misleading because that will be on the ballot for every Missourian,” Lucas said in an interview with FOX4 on Monday.
“Everybody who goes out to vote, probably almost a million people, will see that misinformation. That is not true,” Lucas said.
According to the fiscal note attached to the bill, Kansas City, Missouri leaders said the measure would have a negative financial impact on their budget, but in the “fiscal note summary” at the end of the note, it says what the mayor discussed above. What’s in the summary is part of what will appear on the ballot when Missouri residents go to the polls Tuesday, November 8th.
“Secretary of State Jay Aschroft has a chance to clarify this,” Lucas continued. “He should.”
Ashcroft said the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, which the mayor is a part of, is one of the reasons why the language is written as it is.
“I believe that the police board said that they were already paying 25.1%,” Ashcroft said. “So a requirement to pay 25% would not be an increase as to what they’re doing, which would make it not an increase.”
In the spring, the city did fund its police department at that 25% level. The mayor said he’s taken issue with the language because the people elect him and the city council to make choices for the city.
“I was proud to be someone on city council and as mayor, who has continued to have funded the police department,” Lucas said. “As you well know, I heard from a lot of people who were disappointed at how high we funded them in this last budget year.”
Ashcroft said he doesn’t have the legal authority to change the wording of the ballot. He said that’s State Auditor Nicole Galloway’s job.
Ashcroft said Lucas could have sued within 10 days of the ballot language being fielded, but he didn’t do that.
“We wouldn’t have been for or against him if he would have done that,” Ashcroft said. “Our response to the judge would have been, ‘Just tell us what to do.’ So sometimes, when you don’t do your job, there are consequences.”
Ashcroft said he doesn’t think legally he can change the wording on the ballot for the amendment residents will be voting on in less than three months.
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