Whose version of criminal code legislation will advance could depend on how each might impact federal transportation money.

House and Senate lawmakers who have spent years working on an update of Missouri’s system of criminal laws and punishments must now decide which chambers’ version of that rewrite to go with.

Representative Judy Morgan (D-Kansas City) says one issue that must be considered was raised by the Transportation Department.

“What we found out in fiscal review,” says Morgan, “with the House bill we may be out of compliance with that mandatory minimum sentencing and it may cause us to lose $18-million in funds as a result of that.”

The sponsor of the House criminal code bill, Representative Stanley Cox (R-Sedalia), says he thought the issue had been resolved.

“We have distributed this and encouraged various state agencies,” he tells Morgan, “and really I thought that we had made MODOT happy, but we’ll certainly continue working on it.”

The sponsor of the Senate legislation, Senator Jolie Justus (D-Kansas City) says that issue has been dealt with in her chamber’s version.

“They brought that concern to us months ago. We fixed it months ago on the Senate side. It is not a problem.”

The Senate version of the bill is also smaller, having been reduced to about 700 pages while the House version is still around the 1000-mark.