JEFFERSON CITY — Efforts by the City of Kansas City to defund the Kansas City Police Department received a blow this week as legislation increasing KCPD’s budget sponsored by State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, was voted out of committee and sent onto the full Senate for its consideration. The Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence voted “do pass” for Senate Bill 678.

Senator Tony Luetkemeyer, right, listens as Kansas City Police Department Chief Rick Smith testifies regarding Senate Bill 678.

“The city council will finalize next year’s budget for the KCPD in the coming months, and every indication is they will again try to slash the department’s budget. It is vital that we advance this legislation now to prevent that,” said Sen. Luetkemeyer, chairman of the committee. “This legislation will stop future radical attempts by the city council to defund the KCPD and ensure the brave men and women of law enforcement have the resources they need to keep our community safe.”

Senate Bill 678 increases the minimum threshold for police funding in Kansas City to 25% of general revenue. Currently, state law requires the city to spend at least 20% of its revenue on the police department. The legislation would also clarify what constitutes general revenue in the city’s budget.

Senator Luetkemeyer’s legislation is a direct response to an attempt by the city council to slash $42 million from police funding in 2021. That effort was temporarily blocked by a court decision, but the judge left open the option of defunding the police in future budgets.

For more information about Sen. Luetkemeyer, visit www.senate.mo.gov/mem34.


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