Missouri lawmakers begin filing 2018 bills

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JEFFERSON CITY - State Representatives and Senators alike were busy Friday pre-filing bills for the upcoming legislative session in 2018.

The topics of the newly filed bills ranged from discrimination protection and student loan reform to soil conservation and lobbyist regulation.

Rep. Joshua Peters, D-St. Louis, filed a bill that would change Missouri’s system of bail. The bill would require local governments to create “pretrial service agencies” to assist the defendant in remaining free.

“It implements a plan in which the state of Missouri uses research to prevent unnecessary detention of its citizens who are poor and underserved.”

Rep. Peters is hopeful for the future of this bill based on similar legislation in other states.

“The state of New Jersey, where we see a republican governor and a fairly conservative legislature there that implemented similar bill reform process.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, filed three bills Friday. One would require Missouri to be up to Centers for Disease Control guidelines for prescribing opioids, which it is currently does not follow.

“It’s something that Missouri just has to get up to speed on,” Quade said.

Over 150 bills were filed by members of the Missouri House today, and even more are expected to be filed in the upcoming weeks.