Jackson County must get many bids

Court ruling means Sports Authority must allow competition.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:40 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Supreme Court reinstated a law Tuesday requiring the Jackson County Sports Authority to get bids for many projects.

At issue was a measure tacked onto a broader local government bill that lawmakers passed in 2005.

The measure requires any Jackson County authority spending of more than $5,000, including professional service contracts, to be competitively bid.

The Jackson County Sports Authority oversees the stadiums housing the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs.

The authority filed a lawsuit a couple of months after the measure took effect, and a Cole County judge found the law unconstitutional in July 2006. The judge determined that the language violated constitutional provisions against a bill being changed from its original purpose and having too many subjects.

But the Supreme Court reversed the judge Tuesday, ruling unanimously that the law was not in violation and saying courts should give wide latitude to the Legislature in making laws.

“The general, or overarching purpose of (the bills) as originally introduced can fairly be said to be the regulation of political subdivisions,” the court said in an opinion written by Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr.

“The purpose was not narrowly limited, as the trial court held, to the subject matter of the specific statutes referenced in the original text.”

An attorney for the sports authority did not return a call seeking comment.

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