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Kansas, Missouri Governors: economic ‘border war’ is over

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly (D) has signed an executive order aimed at ending the economic “border war” between Missouri and Kansas.

In the signing ceremony Kelly stated that the action “ends the border war” which pitted Kansas and Missouri against each other over economic incentives for economic development.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) signed legislation into law in June, aimed at ending the border war. Missouri’s bill restricts incentives to companies moving from Kansas to Missouri’s Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties.

“I think Missouri has spent well over $100 million on this, Kansas has spent well over $100 million,” Parson said during a June bill-signing ceremony. “There’s no reason we can’t be using that money for a lot better purposes than just jumping from one side of the state (line) to the other.”

Parson spokeswoman Kelli Jones issued a statement about Governor Kelly’s executive order.

“We appreciate Governor Kelly’s partnership and work on ending the Border War. We are thoroughly reviewing Governor Kelly’s executive order but are encouraged by the news of its signing, which will help both states better serve the citizens of Missouri and Kansas through fiscally responsible practices,” Jones’ statement reads.

The Kansas City-based Hall Family Foundation says more than 10,000 jobs moved between Missouri and Kansas during the past decade, with an incentive cost of $330 million. The jobs all moved in the Kansas City region.

After the June bill-signing ceremony at Kansas City’s Union Station, Parson told reporters that incentivizing companies to move a few miles does not result in new jobs for either state.

“We’re spending a lot of taxpayer money to do initiatives for businesses on the border of Kansas and Missouri and sometimes we’re not getting very much gain for that,” Parson said in June.

As for Governor Kelly, she says an event with both governors will happen soon.

“But we have more to do. My administration looks forward to a governor’s summit in the near future where we will celebrate this monumental achievement for both states,” Kelly says.

KMBC’s Mike Mahoney reports Governor Parson says the summit will be later this month in Kansas City. A date has not been set yet.