Legislative Wrap Up
JEFFERSON CITY- The state legislative session ends Friday, May 13th and state lawmakers are busy voting on new bills. Tuesday, the Senate passed a human trafficking bill. The bill would increase state penalties for human trafficking from five to 15 years to, 30 years to life making them the same as federal penalties. The house passed the legislation back in March. After it passed, State Rep. Jason Kander, D-Kansas City, told KOMU human trafficking is a real problem in Missouri. He said there have been more federally prosecuted cases in the western district, than any other region in the country. The bill still needs to go to Gov. Jay Nixon before it becomes law.
The House passed legislation on Tuesday that would out-law the sale of a synthetic drugs marketed as "bath salts". Allegedly these "bath salts" have the same effects as cocaine and marijuana. Law enforcement have told legislators they have noticed an increase in problems related to the use of these drugs. Opponents to the bill said it could hurt businesses that sell speciality products such as flavored tobacco. The State Senate still needs to vote on this legislation.
There are other pieces of legislation lawmakers need to vote on before Friday. One controversial piece of legislation introduced in the House, is the Voter ID Bill. The bill would require voters present a valid Missouri State ID when they go to vote. This bill was introduced in 2006 but was found to be unconstitutional. Another bill would require that all drivers tests be administered an English. Opponents say this would cripple people who are here legally from having transportation to places of employment and education.