One bill that made it to the finish line and passed the Missouri Legislature has been vetoed by Gov. Mike Parson.
Senate Bill 189 was a wide-ranging crime package. The main highlights include bolstering penalties for assault on a law enforcement animal, streamlining the process to clear animal records and creating a conviction review unit. Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, sponsored the bill.
A subsection dealing with record expungement and removal from the sex offender registry, Parson says, allows for expungements for offenses that did not require registration at the time of conviction, which would allow for some offenses to be removed.
He pointed to House Bill 1055 in 2004 which added sexual exploitation of a minor and promoting child pornography to the offenses requiring registration, but not requiring registration when enacted.
The governor expresses “deep concern” that those who were convicted prior to 2004 to be eligible for expungement, and removal from the state’s sex offender registry, could receive a pass under this bill if it were signed into law.
For those exonerated through DNA evidence, who were later determined innocent, the bill would expand qualifications for restitution and increase the amount by more than 75% for those deemed eligible.
It’s a burden that would fall onto the shoulders of Missouri taxpayers who shouldn’t have to foot the bill for a local decision, he says in his letter to the General Assembly.
“However, in this case, these unintended consequences unfortunately outweigh the good. Missourians know I am a law-and-order Governor and that improving public safety is a cornerstone of our administration, but I cannot sign this bill with these provisions as they are currently written,” Parson said in a written statement.
Lawmakers could override this decision in a veto session scheduled for September 13 in Jefferson City. That’s a Wednesday.