Lawmakers returned to the State Capitol this week to fulfill the Missouri Constitution requirement to meet in September to consider the bills that were vetoed by the governor. For the 2020 Veto Session, Gov. Parson had vetoed two bills along with line-item vetoes in 11 Appropriation Bills. The House and the Senate met in their respective chambers, debated and at the end of session agreed there would be no override on any of the bills. The governor’s vetoes will stand as is.
Special session to curb violent crime
The special session called by Gov. Parson reconvened on Wednesday to address the rise of violent crime in our state. The legislature completed the session by successfully passing two bills requested by the Governor to help bring down the rising homicide rate.
HB 66 is meant to strengthen efforts to protect witnesses so they can provide key testimony that will put violent criminals behind bars. It creates the Pretrial Witness Protection Services Fund, which will allow the Department of Public Safety to disburse money to law enforcement agencies for the purposes of providing for the security of witnesses, potential witnesses, and their immediate families in criminal proceedings or investigations. The funds are subject to appropriations from the General Assembly.
HB 46 is designed to help the city of St. Louis to fill the more than 140 open positions it currently has on its police force. The bill would eliminate the residency requirement for St. Louis law enforcement so long as the officer lives within an hour of the city. This proposal would also prohibit requiring any public safety employee for the city of St. Louis to be a resident of the city. The elimination of the existing residency requirement would last until Sept. 1, 2023.
Personally, I want to add that I value all police officers in the job that they do to protect our lives at the risk of losing their own life. It is my belief also that by adding these additional officers, it will help to reduce the crime rate in the city of St. Louis. We owe police officers our thanks and our respect for all they do.
HB 66 and HB 46 will now be signed into law
Following the conclusion of session, the members of House leadership issued the following statement:
“The House today finished moving legislation requested by the governor to combat the growth of violent crime in Missouri. We are pleased to have passed several significant measures to provide additional resources for law enforcement officers and the protection of witnesses against violent criminals. The House is committed to continue working with Governor Parson in the next regular session in our fight to reduce the occurrences of violent crime in Missouri.”
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office via phone call or by email. It is my honor to serve as your Missouri state representative of the 117th district.
This report was filed Jan. 5, 2018
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