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Missouri legislature debates new crime bills

Senate Judiciary Committee sits at a podium
Nathan Lee
The Senate Judiciary Committee discusses new crime bills that were proposed to the Missouri legislature.

Separate crime bills that cover a broad scope of crime-related topics have passed both chambers of the Missouri legislature. The bills' topics range from outlawing celebratory gunfire to modifying how juveniles are tried as adults. The Senate's version of the bill is under review in a House committee, and the House's version of the bill is under review in a Senate committee.

As the two bills moved between the chambers, one major difference is how they are handling Gov. Mike Parson's veto of a similar bill last year. Parson took issue with two provisions in last year’s bill.

For example, Parson said he did not like the provision about expungement, or deletion of criminal records, because the language could allow sex crimes to be expunged. He also did not like a provision that could give restitution for those exonerated based on DNA evidence.

Representative Lane Roberts, a Republican from Joplin and the sponsor of the House bill, said he removed those provisions.

“They were not a part of my original provision; they were amendments put on over in the Senate,” Roberts said.

The Senate version modifies the expungement provision by removing the parts the governor took issue with.

If either bill is passed without changes by the other chamber, it will go to the governor’s desk.

Alex Cox is a Junior in the Missouri School of Journalism. They're a reporter and producer for KBIA.
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