January 19, 2024 Less than a minute read

Missouri Chamber backs crime prevention legislation

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry strongly endorses comprehensive legislation to address public safety in the state.

House Bill 1659 is sponsored by Rep. Lane Roberts (R-Joplin), chair of the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee. The bill includes a variety of provisions to improve public safety in Missouri, a key factor when business leaders and potential employees are considering moving to the state. Similar legislation passed both the House and Senate last year before being vetoed by the governor.

Representative Roberts said those vetoed elements have been removed in the latest iteration of the bill. The adjustments were made out of caution in order to limit the bill’s content to a single subject – crime prevention.

Kara Corches, vice president of governmental affairs for the Missouri Chamber, applauded the steady-handed leadership of Rep. Roberts and reiterated the business community’s strong support for this legislation.

Corches noted that in the organization’s annual business leader survey, “Ninety percent of business leaders said they are concerned with public safety and 70% believe crime is hurting the state’s economic competitiveness.”

Corches highlighted two issues of particular importance to Missouri’s business community, emphasizing that public safety is a statewide issue.

“We support “Blair’s Law”, which addresses the issue of celebratory gunfire. An increasing number of businesses have reported damage to their buildings and vehicle fleets from celebratory gunfire after sporting events,” she said. “Also of importance are the provisions that strengthen the penalties for repeat and violent offenders. The Chamber issued a report (Safer Missouri, Stronger Missouri) last year that found a very small number of individuals are committing a large percentage of crimes in the state. Crime prevents employees and businesses from wanting to come to the state.”

For more information, contact Corches at kcorches@mochamber.com or 573-634-3511.

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