Report from the 26th District

Returning to the Capitol for extra session

BY State sen. Dave Schatz Missouri’s 26th District
Posted 7/29/20

Following a break in legislative action after the final day of the 2020 legislative session on May 15, activity in the State Capitol is starting to pick back up.

Last week, the governor finished …

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Report from the 26th District

Returning to the Capitol for extra session

Posted

Following a break in legislative action after the final day of the 2020 legislative session on May 15, activity in the State Capitol is starting to pick back up.

Last week, the governor finished his review of the proposals passed by the General Assembly. After taking actions on the bills passed by the General Assembly, the governor announced he was calling lawmakers back to Jefferson City for an extra legislative session to address violent crime throughout Missouri.

The governor’s call for an extra legislative session which began Monday (July 27) specifically mentions six areas that he is asking lawmakers to address: the creation of a witness protection fund, changes to witness statement admissibility, the certification of juveniles to be tried as adults for certain crimes, unlawful transfers of weapons to minors, modification of child endangerment statutes and the elimination of the city residency requirement for St. Louis police officers.

The call for an extra session comes as our state is seeing a rise in violent crime, especially in urban areas. According to the governor, Kansas City recently reached 101 homicides for 2020 — a 35 percent increase from 2019.

In addition, he pointed to the fact that St. Louis has already seen 130 homicides so far this year, up from 99 at the same time last year.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in 2018, Missouri ranked 9th for the highest rate of violent crime in the country. In addition, the same data indicated that St. Louis and Kansas City both ranked in the top 10 U.S. cities for violent crime. 

This information paints a grim picture; however, statistics can only go so far. These numbers represent our neighbors, coworkers and others, real people whose life stories were tragically cut short due to violence. Like many of you, I am tired of watching the evening news and seeing stories about senseless violence.

Enough is enough.

I support the governor’s call for the General Assembly to return to the State Capitol to address this important issue. I firmly believe the six policy reforms recommended by the governor represent commonsense solutions that have the potential to make a tangible difference in our state. As lawmakers, we owe it to our constituents to come together and pass these important reforms. No Missourian should have to live in fear of senseless violence, and I believe now is the time to take action to make our state a safer place for everyone who calls the Show-Me State home.

 As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri Senate. If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (573) 751-3678 or by email at dave.schatz@senate.mo.gov if you have any questions or concerns — we are honored to serve you.

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