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Council Postpones Votes On Nukes, Billboard Tax, Petition Process


Kansas City city council committees had three thorny ballot issues scheduled for debate yesterday, but they concluded it was not a good day for final decisions.

Representatives of the billboard industry testified that a proposed 2 percent revenue tax would unconstitutionally a single out one kind of business, and that though billboard taxes have not drawn litigation in smaller towns, one might in a larger city. Debate continues next week.

The next hot-button hearing was on sending voters a measure prohibiting any additional nuclear weapons parts manufacturing.  Many representatives of Peace Planters,the group that collected the petition signatures on the initiative testified in favor of it.

Opponents included representatives of the GSA, the National Nuclear Security Administration, defense contractor Honeywell, business groups and organized labor.

E. E. Keenan, attorney for the AFL-CIO was among those calling the initiative ordinance unconstitutional. And he warned that passing an that could interfere with the national defense could result in a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Justice that could be very costly to the city.  "It's not easy to win a lawsuit against the Department of Justice."  he said.

Debate on the anti-nukes measure also continues next week.

A plan to ask voters prohibit non-residents like rail activist Clay Chastain from circulating petitions for city ballot issues was withdrawn after the ACLU expressed concerns.

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