The Missouri House of Representatives did not pass two of seven bills the governor wanted as part of his special session call to address the state’s violent crime rate. During a briefing today, Gov. Mike Parson says he is still pleased about the ones that did pass.
The House did not sign off on legislation that would give the Missouri Attorney General jurisdiction to prosecute some St. Louis murder cases.
“Jurisdiction is something I think was very important, that come later on in the session,” says Parson. “I still think anything we can do to address violent crime in this state. And I do want to say, with what we’re doing with session giving the tools that law enforcement needs, that prosecutors need to be able to take violent criminals off the street is a win for Missouri right now.”
Another measure that did not reach the finish line in the House would let judges decide whether juveniles 16 to 18 years old should be prosecuted as adults and possibly go to prison for certain crimes committed with weapons.
“We would have loved to have the juvenile situation – be able to get that done. That was very important to us,” says Parson.
The House did pass legislation that would create a fund to protect witnesses and their immediate family before trial but members did not put money into the fund. The governor told Capitol reporters his office is looking at whatever funding they can get, to get the program started as soon as possible.
Other bills passed in the House would:
* Boost penalties for witness and victim tampering
*Remove a requirement for St. Louis first responders to live within the city
*Toughen the penalty for anyone who sells or gives a gun to a juvenile
*Make it a crime to assist someone 17 or younger to commit a crime with a weapon
The bills head to the Senate for consideration. Senate President Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, says the upper chamber will return next week to finish work on the proposals.
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