The Star last week reviewed several hundred pages of the latest financial reports for Kansas City’s four retirement plans. The most important findings show that the city’s systems are on firmer footing than a few years ago but still below where they need to be.
Home health aides work long hours, perform a lot of heavy lifting and save the public a great deal of money by enabling elderly and disabled people to remain in their homes instead of moving to institutional settings. In Missouri, aides who are paid with state Medicaid dollars have been doing this work for an average of $8.60 an hour. They need a raise.
Why wait until January to begin the craziness that defines a session of the Missouri General Assembly? Rep. Rick Brattin has gotten the ball rolling early. Brattin, a Republican from Harrisonville, has introduced a bill that would require a woman seeking an abortion to first get permission from the man responsible for the pregnancy.
Crucial questions must be answered before any decisions are made to approve a $610 million taxpayer subsidy for a mixed-use project on the site of Brookridge Golf and Fitness in south Overland Park. Council members and the city staff have the ability to protect taxpayers if an unwise investment is being proposed. State officials will be responsible for making sure Kansas tax dollars aren’t wasted on the project.
Michael Brooks had lost the trust of his colleagues and many of his constituents. His move will help improve general public confidence in City Hall. Although Mayor Sly James said at a news conference he had “no real reaction” to the resignation, the mayor must be pleased that it will help end the controversies swirling around Brooks at City Hall.
Coinciding with prisoner swaps, and reportedly inspired in part by whispers from Pope Francis, President Obama’s intention to normalize relations with Cuba is sure to face stiff opposition in Congress. But it’s long overdue and will help make our part of the world better.
Tens of thousands of local kids go without enough food on weekends. The Star is partnering with Harvesters to raise money for the area’s hungriest children. All money goes to Harvesters’ BackSnack program, which provides low-income children weekend meals. Just $25 provides a child BackSnacks for a month; $250 provides BackSnacks for a year. Everyone who donates before Christmas Eve will be entered in a drawing for a football autographed by Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles.
Last week Congress rushed to pass the awkwardly named “cromnibus.” It was more than just a mashup of a continuing resolution and omnibus spending bill. Lawmakers — primarily Republicans — inserted inappropriate pet causes, pork and pandering to special interests.
Missouri is spending only $70,778 on tobacco prevention efforts this year, one-tenth of 1 percent of the recommended amount by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state’s pathetic outlay is swamped by marketing from tobacco companies by a ratio of 4,642 to one.
A U.S. Senate committee's report that detailed the CIA’s torture of suspected terrorists set off the predictable wrangling over what had happened and who was responsible and has raised a host of questions. The Monday Poll would like to gauge your feelings on some of these issues.
The Kansas City Star is partnering with Harvesters-The Community Food Network for the fifth consecutive year to host a virtual food drive. All funds raised go to Harvesters’ BackSnack program, serving 19,500 students a week for 34 weeks in 404 elementary schools in 112 districts.
Gov. Sam Brownback last week listed ways he wants to slice $280 million from the current Kansas budget. But just two days later, Kansans learned that Brownback and the Legislature, starting in January, may have to slash a staggering $648 million from the new budget, which begins July 1.
Gasoline prices are plummeting across the nation. Missouri officials are studying the use of tolls on Interstate 70. And Kansas highway improvement funds are being drained to pay for other expenses. Suddenly, how much we pay to drive on streets and highways has become an important topic of discussion.
The nation will observe the second anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut on Sunday with vigils and prayers. These are appropriate gestures of respect. But we have failed to honor the victims of that awful day with meaningful actions to reduce gun violence or help people who struggle with mental illness.
A lot of lessons were learned from this year’s United Way of Greater Kansas City fundraising campaign. There was no monetary goal. The donations will help reduce poverty, improve literacy and boost career readiness and health among area residents.
Downtown’s comeback is continuing in grand fashion with the planned renovations of two historic and high-profile buildings. It’s exciting to think that, in just a few years, hundreds of people likely will be living in the “new” Power & Light Building while many visitors stay in a restored Savoy Hotel.
Some Kansas City residents continue to push for naming the Police Department’s new East Patrol Division station after the late Leon Jordan. But the City Council should resist the urge to break with the tradition of not bestowing that honor on civic leaders, past or present.