Northeast Johnson County morning roundup

Rep. Kevin Yoder.

Yoder votes against House bill, saying government should have looked for ways to reduce spending. Rep. Kevin Yoder was one of 67 Republicans to buck his party and vote against the spending bill approved early Friday morning by the House. Yoder issued a statement on his vote, saying that he could not support a “massive increase in spending at all levels of government.” “Rather than looking for ways to reduce spending and make government more efficient, or reprioritizing spending to things that really matter like our veterans and our military or medical research at the NIH, this budget will raise the baseline of spending across the board for generations to come,” he wrote. However, he asked for feedback from constituents on how they’d like all the new money allocated. “Even though I opposed busting open the budget caps, my commitment is to now work to ensure these dollars are spent on the highest priorities for the Third District of Kansas. Where would you like to see the hundreds of billions in new federal spending go?” he wrote. While he opposed the spending bill on the grounds that it busts the government’s budget, he supported the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that will add $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit, according to the CBO. Yoder said he believes growth sparked by the tax cuts will make it so that deficit never appears, a claim critiqued by economists.

More than 500 people attend forum featuring challengers in District 3 race. The sanctuary at Congregation Beth Torah in southern Overland Park was full Sunday afternoon as more than 500 people gathered to hear the candidates hoping to challenge Rep. Kevin Yoder for his seat in Congress address the issues. Five Democrats and one Libertarian took part in the forum. Yoder was invited to participate, but decline. [Packed House Hears Kansas 3rd District Congressional Candidates Challenging Yoder — KCUR]

After shooting of high school student, Star editorial board calls for Overland Park police to wear body cameras. The Kansas City Star’s editorial board has called on Overland Park to begin requiring its police officers to wear body cameras in the wake of an officer’s shooting of a Blue Valley high school student. “Yet we may never know the full story of a recent police shooting in Overland Park because that city — one of the wealthiest in the metropolitan area — doesn’t require body cameras for its officers,” wrote the board. “That should change quickly.
Most agencies cite the cost associated with storage as a reason they have declined to equip officers with them. Yet that excuse seems empty when other departments and other cities have found ways to employ the technology.”