Governor announces ‘Safer Missouri, Stronger Missouri’ initiative
JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. (KCTV) - Today, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced a new statewide initiative called “Safer Missouri, Stronger Missouri.”
“There is no doubt that we have to address the crime in this state, more than what we’ve done,” said Parson.
Gov. Parson first stopped off at the Transition Center of Kansas City. There, he announced the statewide “Safer Missouri, Stronger Missouri” plan.
The plan includes a number of things:
- Additionally supporting law enforcement with more resources, training and finances
- Harsher penalties for those committing violent crimes in the state
- Giving felons with nonviolent crimes a second chance at succeeding after being released
The plan was created by the Missouri Chamber Foundation. They spent months consulting with business leaders, public safety experts, and community organizers. The governor is confident this will help the entire state, especially major cities like St. Louis and Kansas City.
“We hope that’s going to pay off,” said Gov. Parson. “We are not going to fix any of this overnight, but [we can] continue to keep making steps forward to do a better job and we can all do that.”
The second stop the governor made was at police headquarters. There, he signed a bill that would increase the funding minimum for the KCPD from 20% to 25% of Kansas City’s budget.
Even with the governor’s signature, however, the change isn’t a done deal. Voters still have to approve a constitutional amendment to allow the change to happen. That will likely be in November.
“I truly believe if we are going to do something about violent crime, we have to continue putting more police officers on the street,” said Gov. Parson. “So, hopefully this helps.”
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has since released a statement about the signing. He stated:
“The bill signed today does not increase the funds the city already has provided the police each year. Instead, the bill represents the raw exercise of power by state lawmakers over the people of Kansas City, as the only people in our state without the ability to influence how one quarter of our budget is spent.”
The mayor also added the bill violates the Missouri Constitution and will be challenged in court.
“He can do what he wants as mayor of Kansas City and the city council can,” said Gov. Parson. “I just don’t worry about those things. I just try to do the best I can as governor. I don’t know what there is to challenge if he’s paying more money than he already is, but we’ll see what happens.”
The governor believes the steps they are taking will go a long way toward continuing to attract the many people and businesses interested in Missouri.
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