Governor Nixon appears to have thrown cold water on the almost decade-long efforts to rewrite Missouri’s criminal laws. Key backers say he’s being impractical.

 Nixon’s staff has put out the word to legislative leaders that he is unlikely to sign an 1100-page bill modernizing the state criminal code.  But the senate sponsors who had hoped to get the bill passed this week say he and his staff have not talked to them.  

Senate floor leader Ron Richard sees no reason to waste debate time until the Governor and sponsors get together.

President pro Tem Tom Dempsey says Nixon’s staff has suggested breaking the revised code into segments, which Senate Judiciary Chairman Bob Dixon of Springfield says is “very impractical and nearly impossible.”  And Senate sponsor Jolie Justus rejects the idea outright.  “I think it’s impossible to do a criminal code rewrite in a piecemeal fashion,” she says.

Justus and Dixon say the governor’s staff has not talked directly to them.  And they think it would have been nice if they’d been given a heads-up before the Governor’s people started making public statements about their work.

 AUDIO: Dempsey 4:07

AUDIO: Justus 5:29

AUDIO: dixcode  5:39