Archive for the ‘kansas city’ Category

Clinton in KC for July La Raza Speech
July 2, 2015

Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton will speak at the national La Raza convention in Kansas City July 13th, a spokesman for La Raza announced Thursday.
“We are thrilled that Secretary Clinton will join us to speak to the thousands of Latino community leaders who will gather in Kansas City next week,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR said in a statement.
“We look forward to hearing about her vision for the country and her thoughts on the issues of greatest concern to our community.”
Clinton is hoping to lure millions of Hispanic voters to her campaign in 2016.
Democratic President Barack Obama was the overwhelming choice of Hispanic voters in 2012.
The Republican Party’s opposition to some ideas
On immigration reform have
Made it difficult for some GOP candidates for President to gain much traction with Hispanic voters.
This will be Clinton’s second trip to Missouri since she started her campaign. In June , Clinton visited the St. Louis area and sole about the need to improve race relations.
She made an appearance not far from the St. Louis suburb
of Ferguson , which was torn apart by racial tension last year after a police officer shit and killed a man.

Court Says Mission’s Drive Way ‘ Fee’ is Illegal
July 2, 2015

TOPEKA, Kansas — The Kansas Court of Appeals says a so-called “driveway tax” imposed by a Kansas City suburb is illegal under a state law limiting the taxing power of cities.

A three-judge appeals panel ruled Thursday. It rejected arguments from Mission that its levy is a transportation fee that doesn’t run afoul of limits on the power of cities to impose excise taxes. It’s based on how many vehicles come and go from a property.

Groups representing building owners and managers challenged the levy. The appellate panel said it’s a tax because almost every property owner must pay it to raise revenues for general road repairs.

The ruling can be appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court.

The city’s budget this year is $17.5 million and it expects the tax to raise $775,000.

Brown back Considering Religous Objection Proposal After Gay Marriage Ruling
July 2, 2015

(AP) – Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says he’s considering proposing a new religious objections law for Kansas following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage across the nation.

Brownback on Thursday also defended the state’s refusal so far to allow gay and lesbian spouses to change their last names on driver’s licenses or to file joint income tax returns. The governor said his administration wants to make sure such changes are handled correctly.

Brownback has been a strong supporter of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage that was reinforced by a 2005 amendment to the Kansas Constitution.

The governor said religious liberties need to be protected. As for legislation next year, he said, “We’re looking at that.”

Gay-rights leader Tom Witt said Brownback is defying the high court ruling.

Judge Rules- No ‘ Right to Record’ State Senate Meetings
July 1, 2015

(AP) — A Missouri judge dismissed Tuesday an advocacy group’s lawsuit that challenged restrictions on filming Missouri Senate committee meetings.

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem dismissed the petition brought by Progress Missouri, which claimed decisions by Senate committee chairmen to prohibit filming by the group violates the state’s open meetings law. The liberal advocacy group also said the prohibition infringes on its freedom of speech and association.

The state’s Sunshine Law allows public bodies to establish guidelines on recording to minimize disruption, but the lawsuit said Progress Missouri’s filming wouldn’t have been disruptive. Senate rules state that cameras may be allowed with the permission of the committee chairman “as long as they do not prove disruptive to the decorum of the committee.”

The attorney general’s office, which represented the Senate, wanted the case dismissed because the Missouri Constitution gives the Senate the authority “to determine the rules of its own proceedings,” including rules on recording meetings.

Beetem agreed, saying the Senate was within its constitutional powers to establish its own rules that don’t violate other provisions. Beetem also said a state legislature’s authority to set up rules for its own proceedings “is a political question not subject to judicial review.”

“The inquiry ends here,” Beetem wrote in the nine-page decision.

The judge also said there is no constitutional right to record open public meetings.

Sean Soendker Nicholson, executive director of Progress Missouri, vowed to “continue this fight.”

“We don’t think that the Senate should be able to ignore the Sunshine Law just because they find it inconvenient,” he said.

Several senators, including Senate Leader Tom Dempsey and Majority Floor Leader Ron Richard, said in a joint statement they were pleased with the judge’s decision.

KC Convention Hotel Advances, But Picks Up More Critics
June 30, 2015

The plan to build a new 800-room convention hotel in downtown Kansas City moved ahead. In the process, however, it may have picked up some more opponents.
The Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Commission voted 8-2 Tuesday to approve the plan.
Representatives of the Kansas City School District and the Kansas City Public Library, however, raised their concerns.
Operations like school system, libraries and other agencies get a lot of their funding from property taxes. Those agencies are members of the TIF Commission.
The school district says the tax breaks over the life of the deal could cost the school 5 million dollars.
Debbie Siragusa of the Kansas City Public Library system said the TIF Commission seemed to spend more time talking about the potential rate of return to private investors rather than the impact of the lost tax money on schools and libraries.
“The city may be comfortable with that, I won’t give an opinion on that, but we’re not,” Siragusa said.
Attorney Mike Burke, one of the front men for developers said the city block where the hotel is to be built does not produce any real tax money now, so Siragusa’s library and the school system are not losing any money.
Under the terms approved by the TIF Commission today, the city contributes $35 million to the plan over the life of the deal. Burke says the money will come from convention and tourism taxes, not the city”s main budget, its General Fund.
Kansas City will also donate the land it owns near the convention for the 800-room hotel.
The terms also include TIF development deal for 23 years, directing it’s economic activity taxes back into the project; a Super TIF for 30 years.
The developers also met the ‘ but for”, requirement of the deal. That requires developers to prove the project cannot succeed ‘ but for’ the support of the city.
An analyst, Tom Denaway said without the city’s involvement in the plan the rate of return on the hotel project would be about 2%. With the city involved, it is over 12%.
“Nobody is going to invest in a $310 project with a 2% potential return,” said Denaway.
Patrick Tuohery of the show-Me Institute also criticized the city for rushing in to support the plan.
“it’s not a matter of do we build a hotel or do we not build a hotel? It’s do the taxpayers have to subsidize a hotel? And there are so many greater needs in Kansas City.

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