February 23, 2024 Less than a minute read

House passes package to help address public safety

A comprehensive public safety bill was passed by the Missouri House this week and is now eligible for consideration in the Senate.

HB 1659 is sponsored by Rep. Lane Roberts (R-Joplin), chair of the House Crime Prevention and Public Safety Committee. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry testified in favor of the bill in committee and strongly supports the crime reduction efforts in the legislation.

“There are a number of important provisions in this bill,” said Kara Corches, vice president of government affairs for the Missouri Chamber. “These include enacting ‘Blair’s Law,’ which addresses the issue of celebratory gunfire, and strengthening criminal penalties for repeat and violent offenders.”

Businesses throughout the state are impacted by rising crime rates. In the Missouri Chamber’s annual business leader survey, 90% of respondents said they are concerned with public safety and 70% believe crime is hurting the state’s economic competitiveness.

The bill passed the House with bipartisan support on a vote of 120-26.

The Missouri Chamber’s Safer Missouri Stronger Missouri report contained the following recommendations, which are strongly supported by the business community:

  • Deploying evidence-based and hot-spot approaches to crime reduction
  • Increasing and protecting tools to support policing
  • Addressing substance misuse and mental health
  • Reducing recidivism
  • Improving training and employment opportunities for incarcerated individuals
  • Increasing public safety staffing
  • Increasing prosecutorial consistency and transparency

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


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