KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Law enforcement advocates across the state are celebrating Missouri’s passage of Amendment 4 to raise KCPD’s mandated funding, but Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas certainly isn’t one of them.
The passing of Amendment 4 allows the state to implement a mandated funding increase for KCPD from 20% of city general revenue funds to 25%. Lucas was not a fan of the measure, to say the least.
Amendment 4 is a mere effort to cement out state Republican Party dominance of budget choices best left to Kansas City’s electorate, similar to every other city in our state. I know no one who trusts a politician living hundreds of miles away to direct what’s done on your block. https://t.co/wLYrcciWq2
— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) October 23, 2022
Lucas fails to mention the funding increase wasn’t unprovoked. Advocates pushed the measure in direct response to him and a majority of the City Council trying to yank $42 million from the police department’s budget in May of 2021 – before a judge deemed the move illegal.
Despite Lucas’ enthusiastic campaign efforts to reject Amendment 4 on social media, radio interviews and in-person events, the measure passed comfortably, with over 63% of the vote statewide, the Secretary of State’s website shows.
However, the mayor still seems reluctant to admit defeat.
Lucas now maintains that Kansas City – the only police jurisdiction in Missouri affected by Amendment 4 – actually voted it down, while the rest of the state brought it across the finish line.
The truth is, the mayor is cherry-picking the ‘no’ votes and ignoring other KC residents’ ‘yes’ votes.
While Amendment 4 stripped the rights of Kansas Citians, there’s a silver lining. A majority of Kansas Citians supported local control of our police department and, as interesting, 700K Missourians agreed–with no real no campaign and despite unclear and false ballot language. https://t.co/yMzC8r1w90
— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) November 9, 2022
That’s because the “majority of Kansas Citians” Lucas cites only refers to Kansas City residents who voted in Jackson County, which rejected Amendment 4 with 61% of the vote. Interestingly though, there were about 60,000 votes from KC residents in Clay and Platte Counties that Lucas’ completely disregards.
When considering the entirety of Kansas City residents’ votes – not just those from Jackson County – the results came out to 47.5% supportive of the amendment, with both Clay and Platte Counties recording over 60% approval, according to unofficial results provided to The Heartlander.
Notably, those final totals don’t include absentee votes from KC residents in Platte and Clay Counties. But with each county’s overwhelming support of Amendment 4, it’s more than likely the measure was right at a 50/50 split among all KC voters.
It took less than 12 hours after Missourians approved Amendment 4 for Lucas to announce his next plan to stifle the measure from being enacted. Before 6 a.m. Wednesday, the mayor announced he plans to take the state of Missouri to court over the increase in funding for KCPD – notwithstanding both legislative and voter approvals for it.
“The courts are the next battle field, including the Missouri Supreme Court, but I predict the current system falls in the next decade,” he tweeted.
In response, Missourians for Safer Streets, the campaign that advocated for the passage of Amendment 4, issued a statement.
“With the passage of Amendment 4, the locally controlled Board of Police Commissioners led by Kansas City residents are empowered to equip and manage a well-funded Kansas City Police Department,” said campaign treasurer Chris Vas. “Mayor Lucas needs to drop his frivolous lawsuits and support the will of the people.”