JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Senators were inside the state capitol Thursday debating a crime bill that addresses everything Governor Mike Parson wants from the special session.
Senators began debating the bill at 11 a.m. and were still debating by the time this story aired. There have been reports of the lawmakers staying until midnight. There are a lot of opinions being thrown around the senate floor.
“I think once we see this operating I think it’s going to really help our communities get cleaned up and get economic development back in there, it’s going to help our education,” Senator Doug Libla said.
In the middle of the debate, protesters came into the chamber to send a message about police reform to lawmakers. They were chanting “criminal justice reform, not rhetoric.”
“I’m just saying at the end of the day, I don’t think this is going to solve the problem when it comes to crime. I think the police and the community relationship needs to be built in a way it’s never been built,” Senator Jamilah Nasheed said.
Much of the debate circulated around the part of the bill that allows City of St. Louis police officers to live within one hour of response time to the jurisdiction.
St. Louis-area senators want to leave this decision up to voters.
“This is a local control issue and this language is already on the ballot for November for the local people to vote on what they want in their area,” Senator Karla May said.