Ambulance billing challenge in KC needs thousands more signatures

08/08/2014 5:40 PM

08/08/2014 6:00 PM

A challenge to the Kansas City Council’s decision to outsource ambulance billing needs thousands more signatures, the city clerk said Friday.

The City Council voted 7-4 on June 19 to privatize billing for Kansas City’s emergency medical services, which is currently done by city employees. The council majority said the private contract would save the city at least $800,000, and the 16 city employees would be offered other jobs at their same salary.

But union officials and others who oppose the decision launched a referendum drive to put the ambulance billing issue to a public vote.

The group turned in its first batch of signatures July 29. They needed 7,143 signatures, but a count so far by local election authorities has found only about 4,000 valid signatures, City Clerk Marilyn Sanders said.

The group now has 10 more days to try to collect the balance of signatures needed. If they succeed, it could place the measure on an upcoming city ballot.

To reach Lynn Horsley, call 816-226-2058 or send email to lhorsley@kcstar.com.

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