Gov. Parson gets only part of ask as Missouri Legislature special session ends

Steve Chapman

The first 2020 special session of the Missouri State Legislature ended on Wednesday, Sept. 16, with two bills being passed and sent to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk to be signed into law—which he eventually did.
Residency requirements for city police and public safety workers
The first bill, House Bill 46, modifies the power of the City of St. Louis to impose residency requirements on members of the St. Louis Police Department. House Bill 46 amends a state law which required commissioned and civilian members of the police department to live within the city. The bill removes that requirement for all members of the St. Louis Police Department hired prior to Sept. 1, 2023, though the members of the department will be required to live “at a residence “within a one-hour response time.”
Pretrial witness protection fund
The second bill, House Bill 66, creates a “Pretrial Witness Protection Services Fund.” The bill authorizes the Department of Public Safety “to disburse money from the Pretrial Witness Protection Services Fund 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 would be subject to appropriations from the General Assembly.
At a press conference held in the State Capitol following the end of special session on Sept. 16, Parson said the funding of the protection fund “may be addressed” during another special session on supplemental budgets which would be held “sometime in October.”

 Parson hoped for more laws to be passed in special session
According to a proclamation in which Parson convened the special session, Parson was also hoping to see other legislation passed, including: requiring courts to consider whether juveniles should be certified as adults in criminal cases for the offenses of unlawful use of a weapon and armed criminal action; allowing witness statements to be admissible in court when they would otherwise be inadmissible, if the courts found out that the defendant engaged in wrongdoing that prevented the witness from appearing; make it a criminal act for a person to encourage a child under 17 to commit a weapons offense and make it a Class E felony to sell a firearm to a child under 18 without the consent of their parent or guardian (currently, that is a Class A misdemeanor).


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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