Top Stories Of The Week
Missouri held its non-binding presidential primary. Losers in the mortgage crisis got some help. And Kansas City's mayor called for a billion dollars for infrastructure. Steve Bell revisits those and other top stories of the week on KCUR's Saturday News Review.
James asks for a billion, leaves some cuts to Dyer
In his response to the city manager's budget proposal, Mayor Sly James called for a billion-dollar rejuvenation for Kansas City's aging infrastructure over a ten year period.
The billion would come from ten annual $100 million bond packages. For the most part the mayor stuck with the city manager's spending plan for next year, adding. He agreed that about 7.5 million needs to be cut from the fire department, but not that that could be done by laying off 105 firefighters. Instead the mayor wants to let Chief Smoky Dyer figure out how to save the money.
Earlier in the week Chief Dyer had told a council committee that he couldn't let his men enter burning buildings if pumper crews were reduced to three firefighters.
The full council will eventually vote on the mayor's proposals, including what to do about fire department spending cuts.
States celebrate mortgage settlement
The Attorneys General of Missouri and Kansas announced their states' shares of a settlement with five major mortgage banks. The money is to help troubled mortgage holders stay in their homes and compensate those who were unfairly foreclosed on. Attorney General Chris Koster said about 20,000 foreclosed Missourians will be eligible for $2,000. Kansdas got about $50 million of the settlement, Missouri got about $196 million, almost half of which will go to homeowners in danger of being foreclosed.
Higher education cuts may ease
The state of Missouri will get to keep $41 million, and Governor Nixon touted it as a partial solution to $106 million in cuts to higher education he included in his budget proposal. He said he had known all along that the money was coming., but waited to make sure it was final before committing it to education. Attorney General Koster says the money is entrusted to the Legislature, not Nixon.
MO photo-ID, discrimination bills advance
The Missouri House passed a voter photo-ID bill on a straight party line vote. Kansas City representative Leonard Hughes and all his Democratic colleagues said the bill is unnecessary and will stop some qualified voters from voting.
The Senate passed a bill that would make it harder to prove workplace discrimination in Missouri.
Kansas redistricting moves ahead
In the Kansas Legislature, a new Congressional map that unifies Lawrence in the second district advanced, as did a state House district boundary map that gives three more representatives to the Kansas City area.
Dennis Moore diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease
Former Kansas Congressman Dennis Moore announced that he has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. He speculated it was genetic.
8 percent turnout in MO nonbinding primary
Rick Santorum and Barack Obama won the Missouri presidential primary. The Republican primary doesn't count, and Santorum was the only candidate to actually campaign in the state.