Clay County, Jackson County measures fail - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Clay County, Jackson County measures fail

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV/AP) -

Voters across the area headed to the polls on Tuesday to consider a variety of local issues.

Two of the bigger issues were on the ballots in Clay and Jackson County, and both were defeated soundly. In Clay County, voters considered approving a county constitution. In Jackson County, voters considered a half-cent sales tax to pay for medical research.

Clay County voters decisively rejected the change. With 79 precincts reporting, the constitution saw 15,242 votes against it for 63 percent and 9,017 votes cast for it, or 37 percent.

Jackson County voters resounded the sales tax. With 289 precincts in the county and Kansas City reporting, there were 64,486 votes, or 84 percent, cast against the measure and 12,066 votes, or 16 percent, cast for it.

In Clay County, the measure would have abolished the three-member county commission and replaced it with a seven-member county council. Some elected positions would have become appointed and partisan elections would have been replaced with nonpartisan elections.

The change would have given Clay County home rule and the ability to change its operating rules without asking the state legislature's approval. Other changes would have placed county employees under a merit raise system and given voters recall, referendum and initiative powers.

Supporters said the changes would have made county government more efficient and eliminate possible corruption.

Opponents said the proposal is illegal and misleading and would have left the county without a functioning government during a six-month transition. Supporters deny that claim.

In Jackson County, county legislators put the sales tax on the ballot to raise $800 million in funds over 20 years to fund research in translational medicine, which uses basic research to create new treatments and cures. Supporters say the funding could have helped establish Kansas City as a national medical research hub and bring much needed jobs to the area.

Opponents said public tax dollars should not be used in this manner and it's a regressive tax. Significant money was spent on both sides.

The tax would have established an institute that would be governed by an independent board comprised of Children's Mercy Hospital, Saint Luke's Hospital, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute and Jackson County.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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