For Immediate Release: March 30, 2021
Contact: Kyle Olmstead, (573) 751-5282
Senator Lauren Arthur, in Support of Kansas Citians, Votes “No” on Senate Bill 53
Kansas City Voters, Not the Missouri General Assembly, Should Decide to Remove the Residency Requirement for the City’s Police Force
Jefferson City – State Sen. Lauren Arthur, D-Kansas City, voted “no” on Senate Bill 53, legislation removing the residency requirement for Kansas City’s police force, joining other leaders from Kansas City in opposing the bill.
“I support community policing, in which officers live among the people they protect. It helps to keep our streets safe and our city prosperous” said Sen. Arthur. “Although there are commonsense changes to the residency requirement which I support, the people of Kansas City need to be ones making the decision on the residency requirement, not the State Legislature.”
Senate Bill 53 would remove the longstanding provision that members of the Kansas City police force live in Kansas City. This legislation, approved by a majority of out-state, rural legislators, was strongly opposed by Kansas City leaders. During the floor debate of Senate Bill 53, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said of the legislation: “Such a bill is a step back for community-police relations at a time our city cannot afford it.”
Previously, in the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence, representatives from Kansas City and the NAACP testified against Senate Bill 53. During the committee process, Senate Bill 53 was combined with Senate Bill 60, meaning members in the full Senate could not vote on each measure separately.
“I support the police reform measures included in Senate Bill 60 and believe those provisions could go even further,” said Sen. Arthur. “But ultimately, I could not support the usurping of the right to self-rule of Kansas Citians by the General Assembly. Senate Bill 53 could not receive my vote.”
Senate Bill 53 now goes to the Missouri House of Representatives for consideration.
For more information about Sen. Arthur, please visit her website at www.senate.mo.gov/arthur.