Missouri Backs Tougher Domestic Violence Laws
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Legislation overhauling Missouri's domestic violence laws for the first time since the 1970s has won unanimous approval in the state Senate. Thursday's vote was 33-0. The bill now goes to the House.
Among other things, the wide-ranging measure would require that state prosecutors rather than local authorities handle cases involving repeat domestic violence offenders. It would also exempt victims from paying filing fees when they ask a court to enforce a protection order.
Several of its provisions were recommended earlier this year by a state domestic violence task force. The Senate sponsor, Republican John Lamping, of Ladue, says the changes will help law enforcement officials keep women and families safer.