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Landlord Gary Cross' Number One Priority Is Landlords

Apparently, ALEC junkets and thousands in lobbyist gifts aren't enough for Representative Gary Cross. While he's been voting for Sinquefield-backed tax schemes that will hurt our schools, ALEC's so-called right-to-work bill, and to lower the minimum wage, it appears that he may have also been using his office in Jefferson City to help his bottom line. 

The Lee's Summit Journal has reported that landlord Gary Cross has pushed self-serving legislation that would shift the balance of power between tenants and landlords in his favor:

A political group called Protect Mo Families, formed to fight so-called “right to work” legislation, is questioning Cross’ sponsorship of bills from 2011 to 2014 that it says favor landlords over renters.

 

The group contends Cross owns “multiple” rental properties, and lawmakers passed a bill he sponsored that removed the right of a tenant to get a new trial when appealing a landlord-tenant action.

 

Cross’ other proposals included:

  • making it a misdemeanor if a tenant intentionally leaves without paying current and past-due rent. The bill would have made the issue a criminal matter instead of a civil one.
  • The bill did include exceptions for tenants who leave a valid forwarding address, have a deposit equal to rent due, or pay within five days.
  • allowing landlords to take possession of a dead tenant’s property within 10 days, if a notice is mailed to the tenant’s last known address, deeming it abandoned property.
  • allowing an animal shelter or animal control officer to remove a tenant’s unauthorized pet, at the request of a landlord, or allowing the landlord to enter the premises without permission to remove the pet.

Property records show that Cross’ company owns 10 houses in Jackson County.

Cross has sought to make criminals of tenants who fail to pay their rent, allow landlords to seize deceased tenants property without requiring next of kin notification, and scale back a tenants rights in court. When asked to offer an explanation to voters, Cross said he "did not have time" and ignored emails and calls for comment from the Lee's Summit Journal.