But what does the ruling mean? The seven-member court declines to order lawmakers to increase statewide spending on public schools by a set amount but sends the case back to a lower court for reconsideration of what constitutes “adequate” funding for schools. The decision averts, for now, the possibility of a constitutional showdown with the state’s conservative-led legislature, which has vowed to defy court orders to increase funding.
Also on this edition of Kansas City Week in Review:
Hickman Mills: a school district run amok?
While the Kansas City, Missouri School District captures a lot of flak, the neighboring Hickman Mills School District is blasted this week in a stinging state audit. In what has turned out be one of the longest and most detailed efforts carried out by the Missouri State Auditor’s Office, officials discovered contracts being awarded without bids, wasteful travel, hefty spending on meals, gifts and perks, improperly closed meetings and strange personnel moves.
Is the bi-State business border war coming to an end?
Will this be the year that lawmakers finally resolve to fix the business border war between Kansas and Missouri? This week, the Missouri House overwhelmingly approves a bill that prohibits the use of state incentives to attract Kansas City-area companies across the state line. A similar bill has already passed the Missouri Senate. Both measures prevent the state from offering incentives to businesses in Johnson, Wyandotte, Douglas and Miami counties for merely hopping the state line in to Jackson, Clay, Cass or Platte counties.
Demolishing Metcalf South Mall?
In January, the Macy’s department store chain announced it was closing its location at Metcalf South mall in Overland Park. Now, there’s news that a local developer backed by a billionaire partner has bought the struggling shopping center. To save it? No….to tear the whole thing down. But for what?
Green Impact Zone at 5 years…
It was a bold plan started five years ago to dramatically alter 150 blocks in one of the most struggling urban sections of our city. Championed by Kansas City Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus funding was to be channeled in weatherizing every home and improving the targeted east side area. But five years on, the Green Impact Zone office has now been shut down, its staff laid off. What is there to show for the $166 million that has been invested?
Missouri takes up “religious freedom” bill
It died in Kansas, was vetoed in Arizona. But that has not stopped it from being introduced in the state of Missouri. It’s a bill that protects businesses from being sued if they refuse to serve gay couples due to the owners’ “sincerely held” religious beliefs. State Senator Wayne Wallingford of Cape Girardeau introduced the measure, saying its purpose was to “protect Missourians from attacks on their religious freedom.” The bill has now drawn the ire of Governor Jay Nixon who argued this week that lawmakers should “be working to end discrimination, not passing unnecessary bills that would condone it.”
Kansas City officials in Washington making the case for RNC bid
Around two dozen Kansas City officials including the Mayor were in Washington this week to make the case to bring the Republican National Convention to Kansas City in 2016. They showed RNC leaders Kansas City’s latest pitch video, which they hope will convince them to pick the metro over cities like Denver and Las Vegas.
Dissecting the news this week:
Lindsay Shively, 41 Action News
Kevin Collison, Kansas City Star
Steve Vockrodt, The Pitch
Dave Helling, Kansas City Star