The Missouri General Assembly is scheduled to return next week for its annual veto session. It is expected that the legislature will spend little to no time addressing vetoes, but that it will return to address bills still pending from the special legislative session called by the Governor to address violent crime. There are three bills on the House calendar that need to be re-addressed by the House after they were amended in the Senate, HB 2, HB 11, and HB 16.
HB 2 is probably the most contentious. It would allow witness testimony that is otherwise inadmissible in court to be admitted if the prosecutor can show that the defendant took action to intimidate or influence the witness and the witness fails to show up. HB 2 was amended in the Senate to include a provision allowing the state Attorney General to prosecute murder cases in the City of St. Louis in the event the City prosecutor fails to act. This provision was strenuously opposed by Senate Democrats and by the state Prosecutor’s association.
HB 11 would expand the crime of endangering the welfare of a child to include acts that cause or encourage a minor to engage in crimes involving weapons. HB 16 makes minor revisions to current Missouri law on the unlawful transfer of a weapon to a minor.