The Missouri Supreme Court has reversed part of a public safety law passed nearly three years ago, ruling that it would create an unfunded mandate for the city of St. Louis.

The wide-ranging bill that was signed into law in 2021 contained language requiring the city to defend police officers in civil lawsuits and to reimburse them for any lost income from outside employment. It was sponsored by State Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, who’s now also a member of the Missouri Freedom Caucus and is running for governor.

In a unanimous decision, Supreme Court Judge Kelly Broniec wrote that the language placed additional requirements on the St. Louis Police Department without providing any funding to cover the costs.

The original bill was filed less than a year after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota and was largely a Republican response to the “Defund the Police” movement.

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