On Monday afternoon, Governor Parson amended his agenda for the recently-called Special Session dealing with violent crime by adding a proposal for the state’s attorney general to be able to take on murder cases yet to be prosecuted by the St. Louis City Circuit Attorney’s Office. In response, on Tuesday, Republican leaders in the House decided to split the bill passed last week in the Missouri Senate into several pieces of legislation. This will likely result in the Special Session taking longer.
Last week, the Senate had passed SB 1 by a vote of 27-3. It contained numerous provisions, including adding to the list of crimes for which juveniles can be certified as adults, residency requirements for police officers in the City of St. Louis, and a pre-trial witness protection fund. On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee was nearly ready to vote on SB 1 when the governor held a press conference announcing the change in agenda. House committee hearings scheduled to move the bill along in the process were subsequently canceled. In announcing the decision to split SB 1 into single-subject bills, House leadership said it would protect the integrity of the lawmaking process and ensure that each item was carefully vetted.
New committee hearings in the House are scheduled for next week with the House reconvening on August 24. The Senate currently plans to be in session on August 21.