JIm Neely's Capitol Report
I had the honor of visiting Quail Run Health Center this week. They surprised me with a banner. As their Medical Director, I enjoy visiting with them. I also went to the Missouri Veterans Home in Warrensburg. I am currently doing a tour of all the Missouri Veterans Homes. I look forward to visiting each one of them. I want to wish all of you a Wonderful Thanksgiving.
Lawmakers Join Attorney General Schmitt to Push for Policies to Curb Violent Crime
Members of the Missouri House and Senate joined Attorney General Eric Schmitt to advocate for legislative priorities designed to fight violent crime in Missouri’s urban areas. The group of elected officials spoke in favor of creating a carjacking statute and removing the residency requirement for St. Louis City police officers.
The carjacking statute is necessary because Missouri currently has no uniform charge for carjacking, which prevents uniform sentencing. Because of this, officers typically charge offenders with different crimes such as 1st or 2nd degree robbery or stealing, which all carry different sentences. Proponents of changing the law noted that the St. Louis metro area has seen 305 carjacking incidents in 2019.
Schmitt and the lawmakers who support the change say a statewide carjacking statute would allow prosecutors to apply one singular charge. The new carjacking statute would be classified as a class B felony, but other circumstances such as use of a deadly weapon could elevate the offense to a class A felony.
The group of elected officials also endorsed legislation to remove the residency requirements for St. Louis City police officers. Currently, officers must live within city limits in order to serve on the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. This requirement has stifled recruiting efforts and led the department of having a shortage of 124 officers.
The change would open the door to applicants who live outside the city. The increased flexibility will allow the department to recruit the best and brightest officers to serve. Many people from our area travel to St. Louis on a daily basis whether it’s for work, doctors appointments, the airport or for shopping. We all want to feel safe when we go and we do not have to worry about our loved ones that have to travel there.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns, or suggestions you might have. As your Representative I am here to assist you however I can. I can be reached by email at Jim.Neely@house.mo.gov or by phone at 573-751-0246.