KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas is suing the state of Missouri and the Board of Police Commissioners challenging senate bill 678, which increases the allocation of the city’s general revenue from 20% to 25% for the police department.
Lucas said the bill is in violation of the Hancock Amendment.
“With billions of dollars available, conservative legislators did nothing for our officers, but now pretend to support the police by creating a policy that ultimately will defund our firefighters, defund our parks, and defund road repair in Kansas City,” Lucas said.
The Hancock Amendment, passed in 1980, prohibits the state from mandating a funding increase without corresponding move and providing state funds go cover the cost of the increase.
“In the past year, I have requested more than $13 million from the State of Missouri’s $2.7 billion American Rescue Plan Fund to support hazard pay for our officers who served on the frontlines during the COVID 19 pandemic and to procure lifesaving equipment for Kansas City police officers,” Lucas said. “Missouri leaders denied our request to help Kansas City police officers.”
Missouri Governor Mike parson signed the bill on June 27 and Lucas said he would challenge the bill at that time. “The radical legislation provides no pay guarantees for our officers, will not hire a single police officer, and ignores the will and importance of Kansas City taxpayers, instead attempting to politicize policing in Kansas City at a time we sorely need bipartisan solutions to violent crime,” Lucas said.
The bill, sponsored by Republican State Senator Tony Luetkemeyer from Platte County, was brought on after Kansas City tried to move $43 million into a community services fund where the police department would have to ask the city to use it for their initiatives in 2021.
“Well, we saw the antics of the city council in May of last year where they stripped over $42 million worth of funding of the KCPD,” Luetkemeyer said. “They did so without any sort of warning to the chief of police, without any sort of warning to the Board of Police Commissioners, and if those funding cuts would have stuck, it would have totally destabilized this police department.”
The mayor’s office indicates it will file the lawsuit Wednesday morning.
“We will take all steps necessary to oppose the statewide tax increase amendment applying only to Kansas Citians and to stand up for the rights of our taxpayers, and we will continue to work locally with our police department to build a safer Kansas City,” Lucas said.