Missouri 2016 legislative session concludes with pair of wins for GOP

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A view of the south side of the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City (Zachary Reger)

The final days of the Missouri General Assembly’s 2016 legislative session saw passage of a pro-gun rights omnibus bill, as well as support for a constitutional amendment, subject to public referendum, to require photo ID for all voters in the state.

Both proposals were supported by Republicans, who hold a majority in both the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 656 was passed by the legislature on Friday, the final day of the session. The bill would expand the state’s “castle doctrine,” allowing invited guests to use deadly force against intruders in a home. Also introduced was a new “stand your ground” privilege, which would nullify the requirement that one first attempt to retreat before using deadly force against an attacker.

SB 656 now heads to the governor’s desk. If Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, vetoes the bill, the legislature will have the opportunity to override the decision during a special session in September. A two-thirds majority from the House and Senate would be required.

On Thursday, the Legislature gave final approval to House Joint Resolution 53, a proposed constitutional amendment to require photo ID for voters in Missouri elections.

As a joint resolution, the proposal will bypass the governor’s veto power and head straight to the public as a ballot measure this fall. If a majority of voters approve the amendment, it will become an official part of the Missouri Constitution.

Read the Missourian’s coverage of HJR 53 hereand the Associated Press’ coverage of SB 656 here.

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Author: Zachary Reger

A graduate of the University of Missouri with degrees in journalism, philosophy and film studies, Zach's primary interests lie in political reporting, media production and social philosophy.

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