A statewide system to quickly find people who have been kidnapped is under debate in the State Senate. But, it’s become bogged down on the issue of who should benefit. Sponsor Chuck Gross, a Senator from St. Charles, prefers to call the Amber Alert program the “Alert Missouri” Program. Amber alerts focus on finding children. Gross puts no age limit in his bill, referring to “people” who are abducted, although he says law enforcement agencies have told him they are most comfortable with a program that looks for kidnapped children. Senator Ken Jacob of Columbia worries that the proposed law leaves too much discretion, county to county. Minority Democrats also have questioned whether a law is needed, because Governor Bob Holden established a statewide alert program through executive order last year. Gross says a law is better than an executive order because future Governors can easily do away with Governor Holden’s actions. Gross says he’s open to changes. He and Jacob hope to discuss the issue with the Governor before writing a final version.
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