Missourians vote to pass Amendment 5
With the passage of Amendment 5, the Missouri National Guard will establish its own department, raising the total number of Missouri executive departments from 15 to 16.
The Missouri National Guard has served under the state’s Department of Public Safety since 1974, but now the guard’s elevated status will allow for more direct and streamlined communication between the guard and the governor.
As an executive department, the guard’s adjutant general will now be a member of the governor’s cabinet.
Rep. Adam Schnelting (R-St. Peters), who proposed the amendment as a joint resolution back in January, said that “when a disaster strikes… instead of the adjutant general and our military forces having to go through a bureaucratic process, he would answer directly to the governor.”
The amendment passed in the House and the Senate earlier this year with bipartisan support, with 126-2 in April and 32-0 in May respectively.
Former Missouri National Guard Adjutant General Steve Danner, who is a Democrat, said the amendment is simply about safety and efficiency.
“This is not about politics,” Danner said. “The bottom line is, this is about saving lives and cutting red tape.”
After passing Amendment 5, Missouri now joins 48 other U.S. states with individual National Guard departments, leaving Massachusetts as the only state without.
Missourians do not vote to pass Amendment 1
Missourians did not pass Amendment 1 Tuesday night. With 96% of precincts reporting, 54% of Missourians voted 'no' to allow the state treasurer to invest in Missouri funds in highly rated municipal securities.
The amendment would have enabled Missouri legislators to loosen investment restrictions, allowing investment in “other reasonable and prudent financial investments and securities.”
Municipal securities are a type of savings account or bond, such as a 529 fund or a municipal bond. 529 funds are state-sponsored investment plans which save a benefactor’s funds for someone else’s educational expenses; these are utilized most often by guardians for a child’s future education. Municipal bonds are issued by state, city or county governments for capital expenses, such as roads, schools and other public utilities.
The Missouri treasurer is only able to invest in federal and agency bonds, time deposits in Missouri banks, repurchase agreements or short-term unsecured corporate debt.
According to State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick (R), his office was prompted to sponsor the amendment due to a large influx in cash from tax revenue and COVID-19 stimulus money.
Missourians vote to pass Amendment 4
Missourians voted to pass Amendment 4 Tuesday night.
With the passage, legislators can now increase the budget of any police force established by the Missouri Board of Police Commissioners.
Kansas City is the only city in Missouri without local jurisdiction over its police force, thus making it the only city affected by Amendment 4. The Kansas City Police Department’s budget is dictated entirely by a governor-appointed board of police commissioners rather than local elected officials.
Another law passed this year was already in place to raise the minimum portion of Kansas City’s budget that must be allocated to the police department from 20% to 25% - a $65.2 million increase.
Before the approval of Amendment 4, this law would require the state to pay the city for any increased costs the budget adjustment would incur. Now, the state can require the budget increase without allocating any reimbursement funds to Kansas City.
The amendment comes after the attempted passage of two ordinances by the Kansas City Council in 2021 which aimed to give local officials more control over the police department and reallocate $42 million of the department’s budget towards community engagement and intervention. These ordinances prompted a lawsuit from the Missouri Board of Police Commissioners against the City Council and Mayor Quinton Lucas. The board won the suit after a judge deemed that the ordinances were in violation of state law.
“After Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas illegally defunded our largest city’s police department last year, Missourians sprung into action to ensure that Kansas City’s Police Department would have the resources necessary to serve its community,” said Missourians for Safer Streets Treasurer Chris Vas. “With the passage of Amendment 4, the locally controlled Board of Police Commissioners led by Kansas City residents are empowered to equip and manage a well-funded Kansas City Police Department.”
Sen. Tony Leutkemeyer (R-34), the sponsor of Amendment 4, argued that it will stop any future attempts by the Kansas City Council to “defund KCPD.”
Lucas argued against the amendment.
“I do not support anything that takes away our ability to work with our local police department and neighborhood leaders in terms of how we get to better solutions for violent crime,” he said in an interview with the Kansas City Star.