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Missouri governor sets vote on tax exemption for child care centers, Kansas City police funding

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Missouri governor sets vote on tax exemption for child care centers, Kansas City police funding

May 28, 2024 | 6:28 pm ET
By Rudi Keller
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Missouri governor sets vote on tax exemption for child care centers, Kansas City police funding
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(Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Missouri will have two constitutional amendments on the Aug. 6 primary ballot, one to grant tax exemptions for child care facilities and another to rerun a 2022 election result on police funding thrown out by the state Supreme Court. 

Gov. Mike Parson said Tuesday that he would put the two proposals from the General Assembly on the primary ballot.

The first, passed last year, would exempt property, aside from the child’s home, from taxation. Most of the income loss would be to local governments, the ballot summary estimates, with a loss to the state Blind Pension fund of about $400,000 annually.

The second measure on the ballot, originally passed by lawmakers in 2022 and approved that year by voters with a 63% majority, gives lawmakers the power to force Kansas City to spend 25% of its city budget on policing.

The Supreme Court in April ruled that the summary of the financial cost of the police amendment was misleading and ignored estimates from the city that it would cost about $38 million to add that much to the police budget.

The court ordered a new election.

Kansas City has the only police department in the state that is run by a Board of Police Commissioners appointed by the governor.

There are two other constitutional amendments proposed by lawmakers awaiting a ballot and the lack of action Tuesday means voters will see those proposals in November. One of those measures would ban ranked-choice voting and restate the ban, in place since 1924, on voting by non-citizens. The other would allow the courts to add costs and fees to cases and use the money to support sheriffs’ and prosecutors’ retirement funds.

Three initiative petitions proposing constitutional amendment are undergoing signature verification and could also put abortion rights, sports wagering and a new casino license before voters.