The Kansas City mayor is suing the State of Missouri and the Board of Police Commissioners challenging senate bill 678, which mandates the city must increase police funding from 20% to now 25% of its general revenue.
Mayor Quinton Lucas says the bill is in violation of the Hancock Amendment that passed in 1980 and prohibits the state from mandating a funding increase without providing state funds to cover the cost of the increase, reports FOX4. Lucas said he has requested more than $13 million from the State of Missouri’s $2.7 billion American Rescue Plan Fund to pay for police but has been denied.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed SB 678 into law June 27 and said it was “to ensure that the KCPD is receiving the necessary resources to support public safety and combat violent crime.”
Under previous state law, Kansas City was required to provide at least 20% of its general revenue per fiscal year to the Kansas City Board of Police. SB 678 increased the required annual funding to the Board for the Kansas City Police Department to 25% of the city's general revenue funds per fiscal year.
The bill 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,” says State Senator Tony Luetkemeyer. “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.”
At the time of the bill’s signing, Luttkemeyer said "at a time of historic high crime in Kansas City, we need to be supporting our police, not defunding them."