Missouri House members have given preliminary approval to five anti-crime bills. The governor says the state’s spike in violent crime triggered him to call the special session.
Kansas City Democrat Ashley Bland Manlove, the Vice-Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, says the caucus asked the governor to call a special session last year to address the growing violent crime rate. She has met with the governor over the past year to discuss ways to reduce violent crime and says the bills he wants passed during this election year won’t solve the state’s crime problems.
Manlove says additional education funding, social services and surveillance cameras would reduce violence.
One measure Bland Manlove supports would create a witness protection fund to keep witnesses and their families safe before trial.
The House has given initial approval to a bill that would remove a requirement for St. Louis police officers to live within the city. It has not voted on a bill that would let judges decide whether 16 to 18-year-olds should be prosecuted as adults and possibly go to prison for certain weapons crimes.