Council sets legislative priorities

The city council on Thursday approved its legislative priorities for the state general assembly and the U.S. Congress.

First on the state list is expanding Medicaid as allowed under the Affordable Care Act.

Advocates say the expansion would be federally funded, cover many poor people and create many health care jobs.

“We all just think it’s kind of nuts not to expand Medicaid,” said Councilman John Sharp.

Next comes a group of priorities of the Kansas City Consensus for Economic Development.

They include state matching funds for establishing the UMKC music conservancy downtown, support for new business development incentives for science and technology, and retention and expansion of economic development tools.

Among other priorities:

  • Support for renewal of a half-cent sales tax for public mass transportation.
  •  Support for increased funding for early childhood education programs.
  • Support for legislation to allow a surcharge on wireless phone fees to pay for 911 coverage for calls or text messages from them.
  • Support creating property registration requirements for limited liability corporations that would allow cities to require the names and addresses of property managers (to better enforce codes).
  • Repeal of a law that allows vehicles 10 years old or more to be sold for scrap without title, which is blamed for increases in theft of older cars.
  • This year, for the first time, the city also included a list of other changes they would support at the state level that did not rise to priorities.
  •  They also approved a long federal wish list that includes funds for a wide variety of wants and needs.

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