Senate Committee Hears Board Bill

This week, the Senate Government Reform Committee heard a bill that would forbid the courts from threatening jail time if a defendant fails to pay a board bill from a previous stay in jail. The bill, HB 192sponsored by Rep. Bruce DeGroot (R-Chesterfield), still allows the counties to use civil means to collect jail debt. The bill would also do away with "show-cause" hearings, for which defendants must report to a judge every month to give updates on efforts to pay down the jail debt. Under current law, if the person fails to appear at the hearing the judge can issue an arrest warrant and put the person back in jail.

The Missouri Supreme Court recently ruled against debtors' prisons, and HB 192 would codify this ruling in the law. Rep. DeGroot said he would be willing to go so far in the bill as to prohibit jails from charging board bills if the committee agreed.

April 5, 2019 - 11:32am
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