The Missouri House passed omnibus legislation which the Senate embraced unanimously a day earlier. The original bill established the crime of “illegal reentry” for anyone who returns to Missouri after being deported, and subsequently commits an assault or felony.
The crime carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison. The most notable addition to the wide ranging crime legislation was a component known as “Blue Alert”, a pet project of Governor Greitens. The measure creates a public notification system similar to Amber Alerts in cases where law enforcement officers are killed or injured.
Greiten indirectly had accused six state Senators of obstructing the bill, including Senators Doug Libla, Bob Dixon, Jason Holsman, Gary Romine, Ryan Silvey and Rob Schaaf.
The non-profit had placed ads targeting Schaaf, which included his personal cell phone number along with language telling him to stop siding with liberals.
The Senate passed the omnibus legislation 32-0 with Schaaf vociferously expressing his support for “Blue Alert”. In the House, the same omnibus package by a 117-29 margin.
Representative Steven Roberts, D-St. Louis, was the only lawmakers in either body to openly oppose the original subject matter – “illegal reentry”. He thinks the measure is unconstitutional because it interferes with federal jurisdiction.
“My interpretation of the law is that we’re violating the supremacy clause and invading the purview of the federal government in that area” said Roberts.
The final bill, with all its crime related components, will now go to Governor Greitens desk.
Legislation which started off as a measure targeting crimes by immigrants has passed the state Senate as an omnibus bill and will head back to the House.
The initial bill creates the offense of “illegal reentry” for anyone who returns to Missouri after being deported, and subsequently commits an assault or felony. The crime carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison.
The most explosive component of the omnibus bill centers is a measure which ignited conflict between Governor Greitens and several state Senators. It creates a public notification system similar to Amber Alerts in cases where law enforcement officers are killed or injured.
Greiten indirectly had accused five state Senators of obstructing the legislation, which is known as the Blue Alert System. The governor’s non-profit political action committee released ads accusing Senators Doug Libla, Bob Dixon, Jason Holsman, Gary Romine and Ryan Silvey of blocking the bill.
The non-profit, known as “A New Missouri”, had previously created digital advertising against Senator Rob Schaaf, who had filibustered the chamber over managed care expansion while the Blue Alert measure was scheduled to be heard.
When the omnibus bill emerged from a conference committee back onto the Senate floor Thursday, Schaaf created a spectacle, declaring he was voting for it, while making multiple statements that he supported Blue Alerts.
While engaged in a floor exchange with Senator Jamilah Nasheed, Schafff said “And I want everybody to know that I support Blue Alert. Is everybody listening? I support Blue Alert. Here it is right here. I’m supporting it. Thank you Senator. And the media up there. I’m supporting Blue Alert.”
Greitens was roundly criticized for the ads his non-profit placed against Schaaf, which included the Senator’s phone number.
Greitens non-profit, because of its status as such, is not required to disclose contributions. The funds they receive in which the source is not identified are referred to as “dark money”. Greitens non-profit has taken in roughly $6 million in dark money since he began his primary campaign for governor last year.
All but one of the Senators targeted in the ads from the non-profit are Republicans, as is the governor himself. Jason Holsman is the lone Democrat in the group.
The omnibus legislation includes a total of 20 crime related bills. It passed 32-0. Only the “illegal re-entry” measure received scrutiny in addition to the Blue Alert component. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, expressed concerned it injected the state into law enforcement issues normally under the purview of the federal government.
The omnibus package will have to be OK’d by the House before being sent to Governor Greitens.