Federal Legislative

Federal Legislative Platform (pdf)

Federal and municipal governments work together to provide citizens with many services they require and have come to expect. As the local branch of government, we understand the needs of our citizens and are equipped to respond to them effectively and efficiently. We favor local decisions being made at the local level. We support the following positions and advocate for them on behalf of those who live and work in our community.

Home Rule and Local Control

  • We support local control over labor relations.

Taxation, Finance and Spending

  • We support a federal solution creating a level playing field for brick-and-mortar businesses and remote sellers using the principles advocated by the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement.
  • We support the preservation of the tax-exempt status on municipal bonds.
  • We support adequate and continual funding of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

Mandates and Funding

  • We support Congress fully funding all Federally-imposed mandates on local governments.

Public Safety

  • We support the preservation of local control over the method and manner in which police and fire protection is provided in our community.
  • We support fully funding public safety initiatives and programs and believe that authority for making crucial public safety funding decisions should reside at the local level.
  • We support the Congress fully funding law enforcement programs administered by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Education

  • We support a public education system which ensures students will be able to compete in the global economy.

Environment

  • We support adequate and continual funding of the Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) program.
  • We support adequate and continual funding of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program.
  • We support efforts to study water quantity and quality planning and programming.

Transportation

  • We support legislation creating a new, long-term and sustainable transportation program with a dedicated funding source.

Telecommunications

  • We support a balanced approach to telecommunications policies which allow new and existing technologies to flourish while preserving traditional local regulatory authority over public rights-of-way.

Justifications

Home Rule and Local Control

We support local control over labor relations.

  • Legislation which would impose binding arbitration on cities or require recognition of bargaining units would unnecessarily preempt local authority. Existing Federal, State, and local laws and municipal personnel procedures provide significant labor protections.
Taxation, Finance and Spending

We support a federal solution creating a level playing field for brick-and-mortar businesses and remote sellers using the principles advocated by the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement.

  • E-commerce has and will continue to significantly affect consumer trends. Online sales in the U.S. are expected to grow to nearly $491.5 billion by 2018, which represents about 9% of all retail spending. Tax advantages given to online retailers have resulted in reduced municipal sales tax revenues at a time when local governments rely heavily on this funding source to provide services and infrastructure. In addition to suppressing tax revenues for municipalities, not requiring “remote sellers” (those businesses selling over the internet and/or by mail order) to collect sales tax on purchases creates a competitive disadvantage for our local brick-and-mortar businesses. Online retailers and local retailers should be treated uniformly. Since 2005, Kansas has participated along with 24 other member states, and the District of Columbia in an initiative to minimize the costs and administrative burdens on retailers that collect sales tax, particularly retailers operating in multiple states. The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) encourages remote sellers to collect tax on sales to customers living in the Streamlined states. It levels the playing field so that local and remote businesses operate under the same rules. This Agreement ensures that all retailers can conduct their business in a fair, competitive environment.

We support the preservation of the tax-exempt status on municipal bonds.

  • Tax-exempt municipal bonds are critical for local governments to finance needed public safety equipment, roads, parks, and public buildings.

We support adequate and continuous funding of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

  • The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program has made it possible for municipalities to leverage Federal funds with substantial local funds in order to revitalize areas and inspire private investment in low to moderate income neighborhoods.

Mandates and Funding

We support the Congress fully funding all Federally-imposed mandates on local governments.

  • The imposition of mandates, programs, or activities on local governments without accompanying Federal funding is contrary to the spirit of the Constitution. Any function or activity mandated by the Federal government upon municipalities should be fully and continuously funded by the Congress.
Public Safety

We support the preservation of local control over the method and manner by which police and fire protection is provided in our community.

  • Local police and fire professionals are the most qualified to address each municipality’s unique public safety issues. Formulation and implementation of operational policies and procedures to address local safety issues should be performed at the local level.

We support fully funding public safety initiatives and programs and believe that authority for making crucial public safety funding decisions should reside at the local level.

  • Local public safety personnel are the first to respond to natural disasters, crime, and acts of terrorism; and are often at the forefront of preventing criminal events. Funding should be allocated in ways that allow public safety professionals and local officials to protect their communities in the manner they deem most effective and efficient.

We support the Congress fully funding law enforcement programs administered by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

  • Law enforcement programs administered by these two agencies provide assistance to state and local governments to enhance community policing, prevent and control crime, improve the criminal justice system, and to prevent and respond to potential acts of terrorism.

Education

We support a public education system which ensures students will be able to compete in the global economy.

  • Public education is essential to keeping our local economies and communities strong.

Environment

We support adequate and continual funding of the Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) program.

  • Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) funding is critical in protecting the region’s air quality and addressing changes in Federal ozone standards. In FY 2015, the City will utilize approximately $1.7 million in CMAQ funds to construct nearly $2.5 million in projects benefitting the community; including street, trail and signal improvements. Continued CMAQ funding is essential to progress in these areas.

We support adequate and continual funding of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program.

  • This program allows the City to continue innovative efforts to meet long-term energy efficiency and sustainability goals. Leveraging a grant from the EECBG program, the City developed a “Guidebook of Quality Community Development Strategies” which outlines several approaches to quality construction, development, and land use planning. Additionally, the City also used EECBG funds to install energy efficient lighting in City facilities.

We support efforts to study water quantity and quality planning and programming.

  • A national water conservation plan is needed to ensure the preservation of this precious resource for future generations to use and enjoy.
Transportation

We support legislation creating a new, long-term and sustainable transportation program with a dedicated funding source.

  • Transportation plays a vital role in connecting the Kansas City metropolitan area’s people and businesses to goods, services and attractions. Many of the region’s transportation services and facilities are supported by Federal transportation funds authorized by Congress. Congress should act to ensure the nation’s transportation infrastructure needs will be addressed. Strategic investments should be made in transportation systems and services that are effective and efficient, balanced across all modes, safe, reliable and maintained in a state of good repair.

Telecommunications

We support a balanced approach to telecommunications policy which allows new and existing technologies to flourish while preserving traditional local regulatory authority over public rights-of-way.

  • The Federal government should not preempt or restrict the authority of municipalities to manage public rights-of-way, collect fair and just compensation for their use, maintain regulatory oversight of the placement of telecommunications services, or adjust regulations which address emergent technologies.