Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday requiring Kansas City to increase spending on its state-controlled police department, according to The Associated Press.
The amendment effectively raises the amount of general revenue the city must use for police from 20% to 25%, the outlet reported. The Missouri General Assembly passed legislation earlier in the year to make that change, and the constitutional amendment was designed to ensure that the legislation did not run afoul of the unfunded mandate provision in the state’s constitution.
Kansas City leaders like Democratic Mayor Quinton Lucas had tried and failed in 2021 to allocate part of the department’s budget to social service and crime prevention programs, according to the AP.
Violent crime has plagued Kansas City in recent years. In 2020, it had the eighth-highest estimated violent crime rate per 100,000 thousand people of any U.S. city with a population that size or larger, based on FBI and Census Bureau statistics cited by The Detroit News.
Lucas tweeted Wednesday that courts were “the next battlefield” in efforts toward local control of the police department, predicting “the current system falls in the next decade.”
“The question is if police labor orgs get on board for higher wages, benefits, and influence for their rank and file or keep playing status quo,” he said in a tweet.
“We will work with the city to determine our final budget and work within the confines of that adopted budget as we always have,” the Kansas City Police Department told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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