Also on Kansas City Week in Review Friday, March 28th 2014 at 7:30 pm and the rebroadcast Sunday at 11:00 am.
THE STATE OF JOHNSON COUNTY
Nearly 700 people gathered at the Ritz Charles in Overland Park to hear Johnson County Chair Ed Eilert deliver his State of Government address. There weren’t banks of TV cameras there. In fact, the speech attracted scant attention, even though Johnson County serves about 100,000 more residents than Kansas City, MO. Why the absence of news ink?
MAKING OBAMACARE DEADLINE IN THE METRO
Monday marks the deadline for signing up for Obamacare and the push was on in Kansas City this week to sign up procrastinators. Though a recent Kaiser Health Tracking poll finds that six in ten uninsured adults remain unaware of the Monday deadline. How are signs up going in our bi-state area?
According to Kaiser Foundation figures, as of March 1st, a little more than 74,000 people in Missouri had signed up for plans. That’s only about 11 percent of the potential number of enrollees. In Kansas, just over 29,000 had enrolled – under 10 percent of the potential number. Both are a far cry from the 14.8 percent of potential enrollees signed up for plans nationwide.
BROOKSIDE OUT OF STREETCAR EXTENSION PLAN
Opponents of Kansas City’s street car line are celebrating the news that the city won’t be expanding the line south into Brookside during the next phase. The end of the line will now be at UMKC instead of going farther south toward the Brookside and Waldo areas. Brookside residents voiced strong opposition to extending the street car line. This week the KCMO City Council approves adding three new routes that would run on Independence Avenue to Benton Boulevard, Linwood Boulevard to Prospect Avenue and south on Main St to UMKC. Eight-miles in all at a cost of $470 million.
FREE ALL-DAY KINDERGARTEN DEAD IN KANSAS
It was to be one of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s signature issues. Free all-day kindergarten. He proposed it in his state of the state address and asked legislators to find the $16 million to pay for it. It was also important to show he was pushing a big education initiative in an election year where he is being opposed by House Democratic Leader Paul Davis who has been bashing him for his lack of support for schools.
Well this week, legislative leaders in Topeka say “all-day kindergarten” is dead. They simply don’t have the money. And to blame is the recent court ruling, they say, that has left them scrambling to find $129 million to fix what Kansas Supreme Court justices argue is an unconstitutional wealth disparity between rich and poor school districts.
PARTY SWITCHING LIMIT IMPOSED IN KANSAS
This week Governor Sam Brownback signs into law a bill limiting your ability to change political parties. The measure bars voters who register with one party from switching their affiliation from June 1st in an election year until after the August primary election. June 1 is the candidate filing deadline. Current law allows voters to change their registration up to two weeks before a primary.
THIS WEEK’S NEWS REVIEWERS
Garrett Haake, 41 Action News
Stacey Cameron, Investigative Journalist
Dave Helling, Kansas City Star
Scott Parks, Newsradio 98.1 FM KMBZ