The leader of the state Senate says a thousand-page bill is just too much to be digested before the legislative session ends, a decision that ends hopes that Missouri’s criminal laws will be brought up to date this year.
The criminal code revision bill in the last two weeks has been all but given up for dead, then given a big boost, then faced a dim future, then faced a hopeful one, and now, is doomed for the year.
Senate leader Tom Dempsey says he had hoped to get the bill in front of the Senate just to start going through it. But he says the final four days of the session are not the time tackle a project that big. Sponsor Jolie Justus of Kansas City wishes the situation was different, but says she understands why some people might be nervous about a bill that large.
Dempsey is afraid that some unintended things might happen if lawmakers rush to pass the big bill under the pressure of time and the need to pass other bills. He recalls the legislature inadvertently legalized rape several years ago when it didn’t pay close enough attention to a crime bill it passed.
Both Justus and Dempsey say the bill will be one of the first to be acted upon next year.