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News about politics and government from KCUR.

News about politics and government from KCUR.
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Kansas City, MO




News about politics and government from KCUR.






4825 Troost Ave, Ste 202 Kansas City, Missouri 64110 (816) 235-1551


'Saying No Is Not The Answer': The Reasons Driving Missouri Republicans' Shift On Criminal Justice

Before Kenneth Wilson became a Missouri House member, he worked his way up the ranks in the Platte County Sheriff’s Office. It was there, he said, his view of crime went from “bad guys go to jail” to seeing dads lose their jobs because they were jailed for not being able to pay child support. And that’s when Wilson, a Republican from Smithville, thought there must be another way.


Kansas City Says Medical Pot Stores Must Be 300 Feet From Schools, Day Cares And Churches

Across Missouri, hundreds of people have applied to grow, manufacture and sell medical marijuana. On Thursday, the Kansas City Council decided how far the businesses can be from schools, churches and day cares. Under the constitutional amendment Missouri voters approved in November, the buffer zone for cannabis cultivation farms, testing sites and dispensaries can be no greater than 1,000 feet. “When you close down such a large part of the city with the distances, you have almost no...


What Do You Get From Demolishing Kansas City's Terminal A? A Lot Of Recycling

Crews are hard at work at Kansas City International Airport tearing down Terminal A and recycling its components to make way for a new, greener single terminal. There have been no explosions, no big building collapse — and for good reason, says deputy director Justin Meyer.


7,000 Books And Magazines Are Banned In Kansas Prisons. Here Are Some Of Them.

“A Clockwork Orange.” “Invisible Man.” “Twelve Years a Slave.” Issues of Bloomberg Businessweek, Us Weekly, Elle. “Excel 2016 for Dummies.” “Tarot Fundamentals.” “Electrical Theory.” Over the past 15 years, the Kansas Department of Corrections banned those titles, and about 7,000 others, from its prisons across the state.


Missouri Lawmakers Want To Let Neighbors Clean Up Outside The Abandoned House Next Door

When it comes to fighting blight in his east Kansas City neighborhood, Dale Fugate sometimes takes matters into his own hands during neighborhood clean-ups. “I'm a little bolder than a lot of people, and I just take a trash bag up and clean the front yard up and somebody might complain, I don't know,” said Fugate, who helped start the McCoy Park Neighbors group. “But usually in a situation like that, it's an abandoned house. There's nobody there. And actually the neighbors are all glad you...


Missouri Corrections Department To Counties: The Check's In The Mail For Housing Inmates, Eventually

Counties across Missouri hoped this was the year that the Department of Corrections would make headway on the $20-$30 million they’re owed for housing inmates who eventually go to state prisons. But legislators allocated only $1.75 million more to address the backlog. Missouri's practice of reimbursing counties in this way is unique in the United States, and local sheriffs and county leaders say it’s time for a better solution.


The 2019 Missouri Legislative Session Recap: GOP Wins Big On Abortion, Economic Development

In this very special episode of KCUR’s Statehouse Blend Missouri podcast, we joined forces with St. Louis Public Radio’s Politically Speaking podcast to round up the 2019 session of the Missouri General Assembly.


Kansas Sports Betting Deal Tangled Over Who Runs It And Who Gets A Cut

Legalizing sports gambling in Kansas seemed like a safe bet earlier this year. It’s a new source of tax dollars and enjoys bipartisan support.


Tax Breaks Helped Spark Retail Growth In Belton, But Their Use May Be Coming To An End

Twenty years ago, the stretch of Belton along U.S. Highway 71, now Interstate 49, looked a lot different than it does now. Only a few major retailers had set up shop in the city, with most bypassing Belton. That forced people who lived in the city to leave the county or even the state to shop at most big box or other stores.


Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway Discusses The State Budget, Putnam County Hospitals

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway ’s been busy, looking into Clay County’s finances, the attorney general’s office and raising questions about the state’s tax revenues and budget issues. She sat down with KCUR's Samuel King on April 15 (Tax Day) to discuss all of these things, as well as what it’s like to be the only Democrat holding a statewide office. Subscribe to Statehouse Blend Missouri: iTunes , Google Play , and on the NPRone app .


One In Four Kansas Public Defenders Quit Last Year, Leaving Agency ‘In Crisis’

Ruslan Ivanov loved being a public defender. What he didn’t love was the way his work constantly followed him — at home, with friends and family, even on vacation. On one trip to Colorado, he stood in front of a breathtaking mountain view. And started thinking about a case.


Missouri Rep. Robert Sauls On Changing Criminal Justice Laws

Before getting into the Missouri House, Democrat Robert Sauls was a prosecutor, a public defender and a military lawyer. Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that he has focused on criminal justice reform in his first term, cosponsoring bills that seek to change sentencing laws and create special veterans treatment courts. Sauls spoke with Statehouse Blend Missouri host Brian Ellison about life as a newbie legislator, and where he thinks the state budget, which is advancing through the General...


The Number 100 Defines 2019 For The Missouri General Assembly And The State Capitol

Missouri has long been a conservative state in its outlook, no matter the party in charge. So in January, when legislative leaders celebrated the 100th General Assembly and the 100th anniversary of the Assembly meeting at the Capitol building in Jefferson City, there were no fireworks over the Missouri River or a grand gala. Instead, there was a special joint session of the General Assembly and a reception with a “massive” cake in the rotunda.


Missouri Lawmakers Seek To Shield The Emails That Voters Said Should Be Public

Any member of the public can go to the debates in Missouri House or Senate. And in November, voters said the discussions about legislation and strategy that lawmakers have in emails and other documents should be public knowledge, too. But some legislators are looking to once again shield those records from public view, a move that opponents say is a step backward for government openness and transparency.


Freshman State Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove On The Budget, LGBTQ Issues

Missouri state Rep. Ashley Bland Manlove is the granddaughter and niece of state lawmakers, but she’s already making her own mark two months into her first term.


‘I Don’t Want To Be Poor All My Life’: Kansas Prison Staff Face Low Pay And Long Hours

Hunter Defenbaugh loves working in prison. Five nights a week, the 19-year-old corrections officer works overnight shifts in the infirmary at El Dorado Correctional Facility 30 miles northeast of Wichita. He checks on sick inmates, gives them blankets, calls nurses for help. Defenbaugh likes the job, he says, because he likes helping people. It beats his old gigs flipping burgers at McDonald’s or ringing up customers at Walmart.


Will Sports Betting Be Missouri's Answer To Shrinking Revenue?

Missouri's budget director announced this week that revenues are down 7 percent compared to last year. While that may change as more people file their taxes, lawmakers are looking for new ways to bring in money while faced with tax cuts they instituted on top of growing expenses for health care, infrastructure and education.


Costs To Missouri Add Up As State Workers Seeking Better Pay Quit Their Jobs

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s budget plan includes a raise for all state employees, who on average are the lowest-paid in the nation. “We're going to invest in the state workforce,” state budget director Dan Haug said. “We have had some studies done and we had employees below what the market minimums were, so we're going to try to get almost all of our employees up to that.”


What The So-Called Gun Show Loophole Really Looks Like

As Fred Nelson shuffled through a crowded convention center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, a man tapped him on the shoulder to ask about a gun. The man knew Nelson was selling thanks to the handwritten menu taped on Nelson's backpack advertising more than a dozen handguns, rifles and shotguns. He offered $300 for a Glock 19 pistol listed at $350. "Meet me in the middle at $325," Nelson responded. "It's never been fired. You can look down the barrel."


Missouri Sen. Dan Hegeman On The 2019 State Budget, Transportation Funding

Missouri Republicans have a firm grip on the state legislature, but among the party’s leadership roles, only one is filled by someone near Kansas City.