Missouri lawmakers met this week for the annual veto session to change any legislation struck down by Governor Parson. An effort was made by Rep. Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove) to restore $140,000 that the governor had vetoed out of the Department of Revenue budget to help repay business owners who had successfully fought the department over a tax issue. A bipartisan House vote of 138-6 approved the measure, but the Senate did not take up the measure, and so the governor’s veto stood.
With the closing of the veto session the chambers went into the special session previously called by Gov. Parson to address violent crime. Lawmakers quickly sent him legislation approved last week to repeal the residency requirement for police to live within the City of St. Louis and a bill that sets up a state-level witness protection program.
Anticipation was high that the House would then take up several measures approved by the Senate last week to address violent crime. The most controversial of these bills was HB 2 which was amended by the Senate to allow the state Attorney General to prosecute murder cases in the city of St. Louis in the event the city prosecutor failed to act. This provision was strenuously opposed by the Senate Democrats and by the state prosecutor’s association. But the House adjourned without taking up the measures, thereby ending the special session.
Governor Parson is expected to sign the bills dealing with the residency requirement and the witness protection program.