The bills that are part of Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's touted anti-crime agenda for the special legislative session underway will be heard today before state Senate committees.
Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe and Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, briefly convened Monday morning to assign the five state House of Representatives bills passed last week to the Senate's transportation and judiciary committees.
The Senate Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee will meet first, at 11 a.m., to hear three bills:
HB 11, which would criminalize knowingly encouraging, aiding or causing a child younger than 17 years old to engage in a weapons offense. The bill passed out of the House last week 117-33.
HCS HB 46, which would eliminate a residency requirement for St. Louis law enforcement officers and other public safety employees. The bill passed out of the House 117-35.
HB 66, which would create a pre-trial witness protection fund. The bill passed out of the House 147-3.
The Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence committee will meet at 2 p.m. to hear two bills:
HCS HB 2, which would allow an otherwise inadmissible witness statement into evidence in a criminal case, if after a hearing without a jury a court finds that a defendant engaged or agreed to wrongdoing intended to and that caused the unavailability of the witness — should they fail to appear because the defendant caused their death, or despite the state's best efforts to secure the witness's attendance by subpoena or other means. The bill passed out of the House 133-11.
HCS HB 16, which would make knowingly selling or otherwise giving a firearm to a person younger than 18 for the purpose of avoiding, interfering with or preventing a felony arrest or investigation of any alleged offense.
The bill would also remove a portion of law about it being a crime to recklessly sell or otherwise give a firearm to a child younger than 18 without the consent of the child's parent or guardian.
The bill passed out of the House 103-45.
The Senate committee hearings today will be in the Senate chamber. Public seating will be available in the fourth-floor gallery area, and the hearings will be livestreamed. More information is available at senate.mo.gov/hearingsschedule/hrings.htm.
Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, said in a tweet Monday that he expects the Senate will debates the House bills on the floor Wednesday.