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Nick’s Picks | Missouri Ballot Questions and Stadium Talks Chiefs and Royals to Go Separate Ways

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Above image credit: "Kansas City Week in Review" host Nick Haines. (John McGrath | Flatland)
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4 minute read

That month went fast. 

May begins on Wednesday. 

We celebrate Cinco De Mayo on Sunday. 

And Saturday is the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby, considered the nation’s longest-running continuously held sporting event. Given the historic anniversary, you have permission to sip an extra-large mint julep this weekend. 

Here are some important local stories we’re watching this week. 

Deadline for Ballot Questions 

This week marks the deadline for getting issue questions on the Missouri ballot this November. 

Supporters of an abortion rights amendment have been in the field for months collecting signatures. Backers say they’ve far surpassed the 170,000 signatures required by state law. 

Also looking to beat Sunday’s deadline is a campaign to place sports betting on the ballot. 

Getting less attention is another effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Voters enacted a $12 minimum wage law in 2018. 

Last Week, Reviewed

Stadium Talks 

Now that the NFL Draft is over, can we expect the Chiefs to put pen to paper and map out a new plan for Arrowhead Stadium? 

Nearly a month after voters overwhelmingly rejected the stadium tax, the Chiefs are finally offering clues about their plans. 

Speaking over the weekend at the NFL Draft in Detroit, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said he has met with Royals owner John Sherman and the two teams have agreed to go their separate ways on a future ballot effort

It was the first public statement from either team since election night. 

Hunt also confirmed that the team is looking at options that “may not include the (Truman) Sports Complex.” The Chiefs are also not ruling out building a new “dome stadium.” 

Hunt denied that the team had been talking with Kansas officials about building a stadium on the other side of the state line. 

Now that the Chiefs have gone public, can we expect some small morsels of information from the Royals this week? 

An aerial view of Truman Sports Complex.
An aerial view of Truman Sports Complex, home of the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs. (G. Newman Lowrance | via Associated Press)

Kansas Veto Session 

Anything is possible in Kansas over the next 48 hours as state lawmakers try to wrap up their veto session. 

The six-day special session in Topeka is scheduled to end at midnight on Tuesday. 

Before then, lawmakers will try to overturn more than a dozen measures struck down by Gov. Laura Kelly, including a $1.5 billion tax cutting plan and a bill that would block child gender transition surgeries. 

Punishing Kansas City 

With time running out in Jefferson City, the Missouri Senate is set to debate the $50 billion state budget this week. 

Members of the Republican “Freedom Caucus” are vowing to go through the budget, line by line, to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in spending. And that could come at Kansas City’s expense. 

Watch for new efforts to punish Kansas City after Mayor Quinton Lucas offered to bring migrants from New York City to work here. 

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee inserted a provision requiring Kansas City repay all its state funding if it becomes a “sanctuary city” for undocumented migrants. 

With lawmakers up for reelection this year, there could be more retaliatory moves this week. 

Also, on the “watch list” in Jefferson City this week: 

  • A bill stripping Planned Parenthood of state funding is inching close to the governor’s desk. 
  • The Senate is set to vote on raising the threshold for approving constitutional amendments. Lawmakers are trying to thwart the passage of an abortion rights amendment this fall. 

Distractions and Diversions 

Monday Night Raw: Do you know who CM Punk is? What about Sheamus? If you answered no to both questions then you’re clearly not a paid-up, card-carrying member of the WWE universe. Professional wrestling’s biggest superstars take over T-Mobile Center tonight for Monday Night RAW. The show will broadcast globally in nearly a dozen countries, from Iraq to South Africa. 

Super Bowl of Rodeo: Some of the nation’s top cowboys and cowgirls will be in Kansas City this week as they compete for a spot in the “Super Bowl” of rodeo. The three-day event starts Thursday at the American Royal Center in the West Bottoms. This is the 75th anniversary of the American Royal Rodeo. The American Royal is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. It was founded in Kansas City in 1899. 

NASCAR: This week marks the first big NASCAR race of the year at the Kansas Speedway. The nation’s best drivers return for the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck series on Saturday and the NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday. 

All Out of Love: Here’s a blast from the past. Nearly 50 years after they first started performing, Air Supply is in Kansas City this week. The soft rock band with a vast back catalog of hits will perform Saturday at the Ameristar Casino. 

Tech N9ne with the KC Symphony: After the horror movie “The Shining” was turned into an opera last year at the Kauffman Center, is any mash-up off limits? This week, hip-hop star Tech N9ne performs with the Kansas City Symphony. Not sure how this one is going to go, but you can see and hear for yourself this Saturday night at the Midland Theatre. Perhaps next year, the Symphony can perform alongside the wrestlers of the WWE at T-Mobile Center! 

Nick Haines tracks the week’s most impactful local news stories on “Kansas City Week in Review,” Friday at 7:30 p.m. on Kansas City PBS.

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