This week I have a special format for the Capitol Report. At the end, you will find an attachment of estimated cuts to school districts in and around the 51st District. This is a follow up to last week’s section on Amendment 2. The first section concerns the special session.
Special Session Begins to Curb the Increase of Violent Crime in Missouri (SB 1)
Monday, July 27, marked the beginning of a special legislative session called by the governor to address the growing problem of violent crime in Missouri. While the House of Representatives met briefly to officially open the session, members will not begin work on the governor’s legislation until the week of Aug. 10.
The Senate did begin work on the bill proposed by the governor. The Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee held a hearing Tuesday, July 28, to discuss the act. The committee took testimony on SB 1, which contains six key provisions meant to address the problem of violent crime.
The six provisions included in SB 1 would:
· Eliminate the residency requirement for St. Louis law enforcement so long as the officer lives within an hour of the city. It would also prohibit requiring any public safety employee for the city of St. Louis to be a resident of the city.
· Require the court to determine if a juvenile should be certified for trial as an adult for the offense of unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action.
· Allow certain statements to be admissible in court that would otherwise not be allowed under current statute.
· Create the Pretrial Witness Protection Fund.
· Modify the offense of endangering the welfare of a child for a person who encourages a child to engage in any weapons offense.
· Increase the penalty for a person who knowingly sells or delivers any firearm to a child less than 18 years of age without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian.
The governor has said the legislature must act quickly to address the rise of violent crime in Missouri. He said the state has seen rapid increases in crime rates this year, and pointed to significant increases in homicides in the state’s urban areas.
Gov. Parson said, “These are just the grim numbers, but the effects of violent crime across our state are best measured in lives – lives lost, futures cut short, and families hurting. All of this is unacceptable. We are better than that in Missouri, and we must hold violent criminals accountable for their actions.”
The Senate committee plans to meet again on Aug. 5 to vote on the bill and send it to the Senate floor for discussion. The House anticipates discussing the bill on the House floor on Wednesday, Aug. 12.
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working with me to make Missouri a great place to live.