Most of the crime bills at the core of Gov. Mike Parson's legislative agenda for special session passed through debate Monday in the House of Representatives without any changes, but not all.
Before adjourning until 10 a.m. today, the House on Monday discusses HB 66, HCS HB 46, HB 11, HCS HB 16 and HCS HB 2:
HB 66, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Patterson, R-Lees Summit, would create a pre-trial witness protection fund.
HCS HB 46, sponsored by Rep. Ron Hicks, R-Dardenne Prairie, would eliminate and prohibit the requirement for St. Louis law enforcement officers and other public safety employees to have to live in the city, though they would still be required to live within an hour's response time of the city.
HB 11, sponsored by Rep. Nick Schroer, R-O'Fallon, would criminalize knowingly encouraging, aiding or causing a child younger than 17 years old to engage in a weapons offense
HCS HB 16, sponsored by Schroer, would make knowingly selling, leasing, lending, giving or delivering a firearm to a child under age 18 for the purposes of avoiding or preventing arrest of or prosecution for a crime a class E felony.
HCS HB 2, sponsored by Rep. Barry Hovis, R-Whitewater, would allow otherwise inadmissible evidence into a criminal trial, if a court finds at hearing without a jury and before the case is in front of a jury that a defendant tried to prevent a witness from testifying.
Lawmakers — mainly Democrats, but not exclusively — proposed various amendments for the bills, but all either failed or were withdrawn over the course of afternoon debate, except for an amendment to HCS HB 2 by Hovis.
HB 66 and HCS HB 16 were referred to the House Fiscal Review committee scheduled for 9:30 a.m. today.
Once perfected — as all the listed bills were Monday — they can be voted by the House to be passed on to the Senate.
One crime bill not discussed or perfected Monday was HCS HB 12, sponsored by Schroer.
That bill deals with juvenile certification. Much of the debate over the bill and the focus of multiple protests has been about what age is appropriate for juveniles charged with certain crimes to have to have a hearing on whether they may be tried as an adult, and what should happen next.
Another protest by the Expect Us group against Parson's special session agenda is expected at the state Capitol this morning. The group's position is that the laws "will only reinforce mass incarceration and criminalization," according to a post on Expect Us' Twitter account.