KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City will be required to increase its minimum police funding after voters statewide approved Amendment 4 on Tuesday.
The Associated Press called the race just before 11 p.m. with the constitutional amendment showing 62% of the vote at the time.
The city will now have to spend 25% of its general revenue on the Kansas City Police Department compared to the 20% it’s required to spend now.
Kansas City is Missouri’s only police department under state control — run by a governor-appointed board as opposed to a city council — and is the only city affected by this statewide constitutional amendment.
While voters statewide weighed in on this amendment, polling showed many Missourians were unfamiliar with it. According to a FOX4/The Hill poll, 47% of those surveyed were “not too familiar” or “not familiar with it at all.”
The state’s interference with city funding didn’t sit well with some Kansas City leaders.
Mayor Quinton Lucas has previously described the change as an unfunded mandate that be believes is unconstitutional. The city filed a lawsuit against the state, but the case is still working its way through the court system. The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce also came out opposing the amendment.
Republican Missouri State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer pushed for the increased required funding for Kansas City police this past legislative session. The General Assembly passed the legislation, but due to how large the increase is, voters had to approve it.
Luetkemeyer previously told FOX4 the amendment ensures KCPD has its funding, pointing to the city council’s actions last year.
In 2021, Mayor Quinton Lucas and members of the council tried to move $43 million of KCPD’s budget into a community services fund where the police department would have to ask the city to use it for their initiatives in 2021. A judge ultimately ruled against the city’s move last year.
This year, the police department’s budget is set at $269 million, the largest of any city department and over the 20% requirement.
But in a push for accountability once again, this year the city council came to an agreement with the police board to put over $30 million in a community services fund again. The money still goes to KCPD but is directly focused on increased pay for officers and staff, adding more officers, funding for the communications unit and more.