MISSOURI — One of the big pieces of legislation that passed the legislature on the final day of the session expands the number of crimes considered felonies.
If Governor Parson signs the legislation, it would also enhance penalties for violent crimes and broaden what’s considered a criminal gang.
Supporters say violent crime is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.
Others argue that the bill would result in sending more people to prison.
They say that’s not how you address crime.
Representative Barbara Washington, says, “If we do this, bill probation will not be allowed for most of the young adults and juveniles that we are charging. We will not only cost the state more money, we will cost our communities more pain.”
Representative Nick Schroer, adds, “We are not locking people away who are just walking down the street and happened to steal a snickers bar. These are people that are felons that should not have weapons to begin with. They are violent felons that we are addressing here.”
The legislation also creates the crime of vehicular carjacking.