KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Jackson County Judge issued a stay order Tuesday morning on a lawsuit filed by the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners against the KC city manager, city council and Mayor Quinton Lucas.
The lawsuit is in response to the massively controversial budget ordinances the city council approved last month.
The two ordinances included large budget cuts to the Kansas City Police Department, taking $42 million away from KCPD and reallocating it towards community services and crime prevention programs.
The Board of Police Commissioners’ lawsuit argues that KCPD is run by a board of 4 Kansas City residents appointed by the Governor and the Mayor. The lawsuit also argues that state law gives the commissioners “exclusive management and control” of KCPD’s budget after funds are appropriated, prohibiting City Council from altering the budget afterwards.
Since the City Council previously adopted the 2021-2022 fiscal year budget back in March and then attempted to reallocate some of KCPD’s budget after the fact, the lawsuit claims the budget cuts to be unlawful.
Tuesday afternoon’s hearing on KCPD’s request to block the budget changes was postponed, due to Judge Kevin Harrell’s stay order. The order gives the city a 14 day timeline to issue a decision on the police department’s request. The two week postponement of the hearing was agreed to by both sides.
Until a decision is made on the request, the order ruled that the police department’s budget will stay in place at $238 million. The saga has made national news, and it is expected that the issue will make its way through the court system.