Government | KCUR


KCK Raises Minimum Wage

Jul 24, 2008

Kansas City, KS – Many employees in Kansas City, Kansas can expect an increase in their paychecks next week. Wyandotte County Commissioners unanimously approved a citywide minimum wage hike at a board meeting last night.

Light Rail Transit Plan Swirls Around Overseers

Jul 24, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

Kansas City, Mo. – Moving to instill his philosophy into more machinery of Kansas City government, Mayor Mark Funkhouser has exerted control over the powerful Planned Industrial Expansion Authority (PIEA).

The agency has power to give tax abatements to developers. Eight of the fifteen members, including the chairman, are now hand picked by the mayor. Funkhouser has complained that city agencies have directed too much development money to wealthier parts of the city and vowed to change that.

Not Your Same Old Ways: Boosters Plot Blight Fight

Jul 21, 2008

Kansas City, MO – Civic, government and business leaders have tentatively forged stimuli to turn around distressed parts of Kansas City. Member of the loosely formed think tank intend to create a private investment fund as an umbrella under which to maneuver.

McCain Rouses Union Station Crowd

Jul 18, 2008

Kansas City, MO –
Missouri is a state where votes may count more. It's a fact recognized by the campaign of Republican Senator John McCain in his quest for the White House. KCUR'S Dan Verbeck followed a McCain appearance at Union Station.

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Kansas City, MO – The light rail starter route before the Kansas City council had its debut on the committee floor Thursday and met mixed reaction.

The ordinance proposed by Councilman Russ Johnson features 12 miles of track from Vivion Road through downtown to Cleaver Boulevard and East to Prospect. Johnson told the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee the public will vote for it and i eager for the chance to do so.

Kansas City, MO – With a cluster of Obama supporters gathered on the Liberty Memorial hillside across the street, Union Station packed in some 800 people to hear Senator John McCain in Kansas City, Missouri. Dan Verbeck was there.

Entry to the station was open to all. There were no hostile questions for the Senator. Some from the floor dealt with gas prices, gasoline taxes and drilling offshore.

Kansas City, MO – Arizona Sen. John McCain held a town hall meeting Thursday at Union Station. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee addressed approximately 800 people in a forum at Union Station's Sprint Celebration Plaza.

Six Million To Troost Transit

Jul 16, 2008

Kansas CIty, Mo. – More than one hundred Kansas City Area Transportation Authority buses will be replaced over the next five years with $6.1 million in U.S. Department of Transportation funds. The expenditure was part of the 2007 Omnibus spending bill and just announced this week as being confirmed. The funds are destined for the Troost Corridor Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. They were arranged by Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver (D, fifth dist.) and Senator Christopher Bond (R, Mo.)

Photo by Teresa Sheffield

Kansas City, MO – First lady hopeful Michelle Obama reached out to women voters in Kansas City yesterday, as part of a two day swing through the Midwest.

She hosted a roundtable discussion at the University of Missouri, Kansas City about the economic challenges of working women. The event coincides with both the Obama and McCain Campaign's recent efforts to gain support from voters loyal to former rival Hillary Clinton. Some 300 people - most of whom were women - turned out for the UMKC event.

'Green' Tax Breaks In Missouri

Jul 10, 2008

It's now the law: The good part is there will be a one week tax break when you buy 'green' appliances in Missouri. KCUR's Dan Verbeck reports, the timing could be better?

The tax exemption won't do you any good this year. The Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday will run from April 19th through the 25th every year.

Under provisions, the first $1500 of Energy Star certified new appliances will be exempt from Missouri state sales taxes. These would include such appliances as washers and dryers, furnaces and freezers.

Light Rail Vote In November Still Possible

Jul 10, 2008

Kansas City Missouri voters will decide on a light-rail starter route and the 3/8-cent sales tax to support in on November 4th if the process started today continues to fruition.

Councilman Russ Johnson introduced an ordinance that calls for a November vote on the sales tax and a resolution to use the tax for a light-rail starter route if voters approve it.

First Lady Hopeful Reaches Out To Working Women

Jul 10, 2008

Michelle Obama hosted a roundtable discussion at the University of Missouri, Kansas City today about the economic challenges of working women.

The aspiring first lady told a crowd 300 people that the struggles of balancing work and family are especially difficult for women today but her husband, Barack Obama, understands the plight of women and is best suited to take on those issues as President.

Kansas City, MO – Michelle Obama visited Kansas City in July to discuss the economic challenges facing families and women. This roundtable is one of a series of discussions with women that the wife of the Democratic presidential nominee has hosted across the country.
You can listen to the entire speech here.

Kansas City, MO – During a June gubernatorial primary debate in the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman labeled her Republican opponent, U.S. Representative Kenny Hulshof, as a Washington D.C. insider. Hulshof struck back by suggesting that Steelman didn't understand how bills get passed in Congress.

Highway Horrors Face Funding Flaws

Jul 7, 2008

Missouri highway planners say there is no funding available for road and bridge projects valued at $5.5 billion. Missouri Department of Transportation is already considering a twenty year projection of needs that will cost $31 billion.

The intake of revenue over the same period is calculated at $13 billion. Long term projects include widening of Interstate 70 to eight lanes and turning South 71 Highway into a portion of Interstate 49.

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Penned into law by Missouri's governor, a host of rules governing illegal immigration will go into effect in August. Another provision that will affect Kansas City law enforcement will become effective in January 2009.

Grant Launches Habitat Home Extension

Jul 1, 2008
kcur photo by Dan Verbeck

Habitat for Humanity extends its program in Kansas City's core.

The Habitat for Humanity is assured of funds for 11 new homes in Kansas City's urban core. Federal Home Loan Bank Executive Vice President Nicholas Spaeth has presented Fifth District Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver(D,Mo.) with a check for $110,000. While the sum may appear low for 11 homes, Habitat spokesperson Rebecca Dye says it costs the agency $95,000 to build one house. The new owners pay a maximum $85,000. This grant will satisfy the balance.

Independence, MO – Presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee and Illinois Senator Barack Obama spoke to a crowd Monday gathered at the Truman Memorial Building Auditorium in Independence, Missouri. Up to Date's host Steve Kraske talked to the candidate.

Listen to the June 30, 2008 broadcast of Up to Date: Live from Independence with Presidential Candidate Barack Obama here.

Independence, MO – Hundreds of people turned out to see Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama Monday morning in Independence. KCUR's Maria Carter was there.

Senator Obama has been plagued by detractors who've questioned his commitment to the country, but Obama fired back today with a 30 minute speech outlining his views on patriotism.

Walt and Laura meet with City Auditor Gary White and Kansas City Star Reporter Dave Helling to talk about the proposed budget. Listeners share opinions on what they feel should be Kansas City's top priorities. Also, hear more about the challenges facing the city council as expenditures are expected to rise.

Listen to the show. (54 min)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – In an extended press conference this morning Missouri Governor Matt Blunt says he decided not to run for reelection in the last few days, less than two weeks after delivering a State of the State address that was widely viewed as a campaign speech.


Kansas City Voters Face Two Smoking Ban Proposals

Jan 18, 2008

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City voters will likely face two competing smoking ban proposals, and one to renew a tax that supports city buses. But as KCUR's Steve Bell reports, the final ballot isn't set in stone.

The city council agreed yesterday to fine-tune a 3/8 cent sales tax for the ATA so the proceeds could only go for bus service and planned to finalize putting it on the ballot next week. But City Attorney Galen Beauford Clay said Chastain's light rail lawsuit could invalidate that.

KANSAS CITY, MO – The Kansas City, Missouri City Council has approved an amended version of a smoking ban initiative for an April public vote. If the group that collected the petition signatures doesn't approve the changes, both versions will be on the ballot.