Last Published: 10/12/2005 3:29:26 PM
Upon Roll Call the following members were present:
 The Committee will continue taking testimony from City Departments and Outside Agencies regarding legislative priorities for the upcoming 2006 Federal and State Legislative Sessions. Testimony was given by the Economic Development Corporation, the Finance Department, Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust, the Mid-America Reginal Council, the Metropolitan Community Colleges of Kansas City, the Parks and Recreation Department and the Water Services Department. Jeff Kaczmarek, President and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation, made the presentation before the committee. Mr. Kaczmarek spoke about: 1. Getting funding for a MODESA increment for the upcoming State fiscal year. He stated the main project for the TIF capture on this is Entertainment District Downtown. He walked the committee through the sequencing of events to be undertaken to do this. His agency is continuing negotiations with the State on specific amounts of the increment because they will flow across a couple of budget years here and into the State fiscal years as well. His agency is looking for an estimated $1,000,000 on this as the set aside for the State component of that. Councilwoman Cooper asked who they are working with in reference to the State. He answered the Department of Economic Development. He didn't have the name of a specific person but offered to the get the name and get that information to Councilwoman Cooper. She stated that she felt is was important for the City's lobbyist in Jefferson City have that information. 2. Getting funding and line-item the State TIF's, the projects that are underway here--Brush Creek, Kansas City Midtown, Old Post Office, etc. There are new projects that they are asking to be added to the list. Councilman Glover mentioned other projects that are being developed and will need to be added to the list. Councilwoman Cooper suggested that Metro North be removed from the list because they haven't determinted what they are going to do. She also suggested that Mr. Kkaczmarek work closely with the lobbyist when he goes down to testify on eminent domain. 3. & 4. The message on both TIF as well as eminent domain is to keep the statues as they are right now. 5. Mr. Kaczmarek stated that speaking from past experience, "$20 million would just kind of get you into the game." In response to Councilwoman Cooper's question about this being a tool to recruit. He stated that this would not only be a tool to recruit but a business retention tool. 6. Basically the position is to oppose every effort to ban or limit somatic cell nuclear transfer research. 7. Support recommendations from the Governor's Missouri State Government Review Commission on Department of Economic Development Reforms. He stated that he will work close with whatever comes out of the reorganization and endeavor to find the key contact people that EDC needs to be working with going forward. Wanda Gunter, Finance Department, presented three initiatives to submitted to the committee for consideration. The first item presented related to withholding earnings tax for entertainers. The State already has a law that let's them collect for non-resident entertainers and her department would like to have legislation similar to the State. This legislation would say that anyone or any entity who pays an entertainer is responsible for remitting the earnings tax. The second item presented dealt with the convention and tourism tax. Her department is trying to eliminate the section that deals with the exemption of certain entities from the tax. Janet Ziegler, Convention and Visitors Bureau, also testified regarding eliminating the section that deals with the exemption of cetain entities from collection of the convention tax. She stated that Kansas City is one of the few cities that still exempts tax exempt organizations from the tax. The third item presented dealt with sharing of informationw ith the state as it relates to taxes. The City already has an arrangement with the Internal Revenue Service to exchange information related to the taxpayers and the paying of taxes. Information from the State is currently limited to name and address of a resident of the state. Jason White, MAST, and Doug Hooten, MAST Executive Director, presented four items. The first item is to have MAST included under the same provisions as other ambulance services in Missouri. This legislation currently has backing of several legislators. The second item is to develop amd seek passage of legislation that would afford ambulance services the same level of pretection provided to other health care providers. This would encourage continued development of effective Quality Improvement programs. The third item referred to MAST working with the State to seek ways to avoid medically unnecessary ambulance calls. The fourth item is seeking funding for radio interoperability which will improve communications with other area public safety agencies. They are looking for money from all levels; state, federal and local, including Homeland Security. Marlene Nagel, Mid-America Regional Council, focused on two of the items from the list of priorities submitted. The first item was regional infrastructure funding. MARC will be encouraging the legislature to support enabling legislation that would allow voters in the eight county metro area to raise and distribute funds on a metropolitan basis for programs and investments that the region has identified as being important and they would be of benefit. the second item was the 9-1-1 wireless surcharge. MARC would like to pursue legislation this coming year in Missouri that would allow local counties in the Kansas City area, subject to a public vote, to levy a small surcharge on wireless phones similar to the land line system. There is a deficit situation in Jackson County with regard to 9-1-1 revenues and there is a very slight deficit situation with Clay County and there is sort of break even situation with Platte County. There is a real need to find new 9-1-1 resources to fairly cover the cost of the 9-1-1 system which is a critical public safety part of the Kansas City area's emergency response system. Tom Vansaghi, Metropolitan Community Colleges, presented five items: 1.) The budget--A plan has been submitted a funding model to the Coordinating Board for Higher Education to bring the community college funding to the statutory 50% state funding level. Right now this funding is at an all time low of 29%. There were no cuts this year by the legislature and the governor. 2.) A Capital Improvement Budget request that was submitted to the Coordinating Board for a Nursing and Allied Health Care Program Consolidated Facility for Penn Valley Community College. 3.) It's an idea to create a completer incentive scholarship. This would be a scholarship for anyone that completes a two year associate's degree. They would be eligible to go to a four year university and get a scholarship of about $1,000 or $1,500. Just to incent them to finish their bashelor's degree and stay in state and go to a four year public university. 4.) This item is to continue support of the A+ Schools Program. 5.) MCC is working in collaboration with the Economic Development Corporation to increase the Missouri Customized Training Program funding. Community Colleges administer the MIssouri Costomized Training Program. Marcy Jones, Parks and Recreation, gave the presentation of priorites. Ms. jones stated that one of things to be watched very closely throughout the sessions from both State and Federal levels is there is not any action that is taken that could be detrimental to Parks and Recreation having access to funding that could help with continuing to keep quality parks, trails, green spaces and facilities, and continue to offer programs for our citizens that promote health and fitness. Ms. Jones proceeded briefly comment on the priorities listed in the memo which was distributed to the committee. Frank Pogge, Water Services, presented a list of priorities to the committee. Mr. Pogge stressed the need to actively support the Federal Clean Water Trust Fund Act. He explained how critical it is to actively support the Clean Water and Drinking Water State SRF program. Councilman Glover asked about the status of work being done with flood mitigation at Turkey Creek. Mr. Pogge stated that his department with the representatives to continue funding for Turkey Creek and his department is working on the Turkey Creek Tunnel right now. More funding is still being sought to continue work on the project. On the state level, the stormwater grant and loan program has not been funded for the third year now. It needs to be funded so that his department can participate in that program because it provides low cost loans that have to be matched with a grant. The SRF needs to be protected at the state level. Councilwoman Cooper expressed concerns about getting legislators to understand the importance of getting the appropriations for clean water and storm water.