This week, two House committees heard testimony on two different criminal justice bills. The first was HB 316, sponsored by Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch (R-Hallsville), which states that Missouri cannot prohibit a person from participating in the sale of alcohol or selling lottery tickets solely on the basis of a felony conviction. This bill will open up job opportunities at grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations and restaurants for ex-offenders. In supporting the measure, the MCC stated that the bill would give these individuals a fresh start and the opportunity to showcase their skills of dependability, trustworthiness and good work habits. The Special Committee on Criminal Justice took no action on the bill.
The Judiciary Committee heard HB 531, sponsored by Rep. David Evans (R-West Plains). This bill would allow the court to order certain offenders to participate in community-based treatment if the offender is the primary caregiver of one or more dependent children. In written testimony, the MCC recognized that approximately 66 percent of Missouri's women offenders are primary caregivers for dependent children. Community-based programs are much shorter in duration than a prison sentence, and can provide a wide range of services. The committee took no action on the bill.
February 8, 2021 - 4:10pm