taxpayer dollars

Missouri AG threatens to sue cities that help cover out-of-state abortion travel

Members of the Kansas City, Mo., city council approved an ordinance last week that may help city employees cover travel costs for out-of-state abortions, now that the procedure is largely illegal in Missouri.

But the state’s Republican attorney general soon made clear that it was unacceptable to him.

“Working families are struggling to pay for gas & food,” Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is also currently running for a US Senate seat, said in a tweet July 1, a day after the Kansas City Council approved the legislation. “They fork over their hard earned money in taxes & now St Louis & KC ‘leaders’ want to spend those hard earned tax dollars on abortions. No way. Any attempt to do so by cities or counties in Missouri will be met with a lawsuit.”

In a tweet later that same day, Schmitt referenced Quinton Lucas, Kansas City’s 37-year-old major and a supporter of abortion rights. Schmitt wrote that in “his never ending and embarrassing quest to be a nationally relevant major and pad his progressive bona fides—Major Q™️ not only wants to take taxpayer money away from police and public safety he now wants taxpayers to fund abortions.”

The resolution, however, explicitly says that funds for out-of-state travel will not come from taxpayer dollars or the city’s general fund, according to KCUR, the local NPR affiliate. In fact, the resolution doesn’t even mention abortion, though it intends to reimburse city employees and dependents who need to leave Missouri for healthcare. Lucas said the resolution was written in a manner that doesn’t “welcome a legal challenge,” according to the Kansas City Stars.

Lucas’s office didn’t immediately return a MarketWatch request for comment on how out-of-state travel would be funded.

“Using hard-earned taxpayer dollars, whether it be ARPA funds or

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