‘Politics over public safety’: Mayor sues to avoid police funding increase

Trevor Schakohl, DCNF

Democratic Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas on Wednesday announced a lawsuit against the state for forcing the city to increase police funding, according to the Missouri Independent.

Missouri’s state government enacted SB 678 in June mandating that one-fourth of Kansas City’s budget go toward its police department, rather than the previously mandated one-fifth. Lucas contends the new measure runs afoul of the state constitution, which requires the state to foot the bill when it compels a city to increase an already legally mandatory service or activity, the Missouri Independent reported.

Voters will consider a proposed state constitutional amendment in November to circumvent this rule for Kansas City alone, according to the outlet.

The mayor reportedly called for “bipartisan solutions to violent crime,” but a spokesperson for the state’s representative, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, accused him of holding “politics over public safety.”

Lucas’ Communications Aide Jazzlyn Johnson sent the Daily Caller News Foundation a statement he made on the matter.

“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 stated in part. “Missouri leaders denied our request to help Kansas City police officers. 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.”

Schmitt’s office did not immediately respond the DCNF’s request for comment.

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