Missouri legislature enters back half of 2018 legislative session

The General Assembly has until May 18 to pass new bills

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The 2018 legislative session is winding down.

State lawmakers in Missouri, currently on spring break, will reconvene Monday for the final months of legislative activity. Both chambers of the General Assembly have until May 18 to pass any pending legislation.

After that… well, there’s always next year.

This session, which began in January, has seen its fair share of successful legislation. Few measures have been passed by both sides of the legislature — normally, the Senate and House of Representatives wait until the second half of session to consider proposals from the other chamber — but scores of bills have already made their way through one or the other.

For example, the Senate has managed to pass bills raising the age cutoff for juvenile prosecution, capping utility rate increases and broadening eligibility for the Missouri Rx prescription drug assistance program.

But several high-profile proposals still remain in limbo, including:

  • Various tax reform measures
  • Prevailing wage repeal (or curtailment)
  • School choice scholarship waivers
  • Tightening joinder and venue laws
  • Repealing tuition increase caps for public universities

Before session concludes, the legislature must also pass the state’s operating budget for the next fiscal year.

As a multimedia specialist for the Senate, I created a video package reviewing the first half of the 2018 legislative session. Watch it below, and be sure to visit the Senate’s webpage for daily legislative updates.

Missouri Senate passes bill to raise the age of juvenile prosecution

Currently, 17-year-olds are prosecuted as adults. Senate Bill 793 would change that.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — By unanimous vote, the Missouri Senate approved a bill that would raise the age of juvenile prosecution for most criminal offenses.

Currently, 17-year-old Missourians are prosecuted as adults. Senate Bill 793 would raise the minimum age for prosecution in courts of general jurisdiction to 18 — unless the accused is already certified as an adult or is charged with a traffic or curfew violation.

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The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau, believes this measure would humanize the Missouri court system, while also making it more efficient. In a press conference held March 8 immediately following the bill’s passage, he noted how the criminal justice system often fails to rehabilitate those it punishes.

“The recidivism rate for people in the juvenile justice system is a lot better than putting them in the criminal justice system,” Wallingford said. “In the criminal justice system, people say it’s kind of like a graduate school for criminals.”

Senate Bill 793 awaits further debate in the Missouri House of Representatives. The state legislature has until May 18, the end of its 2018 regular session, to take action on the bill. If approved by the House, the measure would need the governor’s signature or a two-thirds veto override from both chambers to be enacted into law.

As a multimedia specialist for the Missouri Senate, I created a short video package on the legislation’s passage. View the video below, and be sure to visit the Missouri Senate website for daily updates on state government news.