Legislation requiring the Amber Alert System Oversight Committee to meet at least annually is heading to the Missouri Senate.
The current law says the committee should “regularly review” the Amber Alert System, but does not specify what “regularly” means.
The Missouri House voted this week to approve “Hailey’s Law” on a 141-1 vote.
House sponsor State Rep. Curtis Trent (R-Springfield) says he’s asked State Sen. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) to carry the bill in the Senate. Trent tells Missourinet that while there’s a reasonable chance of passage, he’ll continue to look for amendment opportunities to give it every possible chance.
The 2017 legislative session ends May 12.
Trent’s bill is known as “Hailey’s Law”: it is named after 10-year-old Hailey Owens, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in Springfield in February 2014.
Hailey’s mother and the suspect’s father support the bill and have urged Missouri lawmakers to streamline the Amber Alert System.
Trent’s bill also calls for the Amber Alert System to be integrated into the Missouri uniform law enforcement system (MULES) and the Regional Justice Information Service (REJIS) to expedite the reporting of child abductions.
Craig Wood is charged with first degree murder, kidnapping, rape and sodomy and is set to go on trial in southwest Missouri’s Greene County on October 23.