Major bipartisan criminal justice, police reform clears General Assembly

The Missouri Times reported on May 13, 2021

SBs 53 & 60 were truly a labor of love for Sens. Tony Luetkemeyer and Brian Williams, who were able to get their large bipartisan criminal justice and police reform package across the finish line just in time before end of session.

The bills ban chokeholds, broadened the residency requirement for Kansas City police officers, and also contain a myriad of other critical provisions, including opening certain eligibility for expungement, providing free feminine hygiene products to inmates, and raising sheriff’s salaries.

It also tackles juvenile cases and establishes that individuals under the age of 18 can remain in juvenile detention and prohibits holding a juvenile in adult jail for more than 180 days.

“To think now we have a comprehensive, strong bill that’s going to really focus on important issues that we’ve seen — the issue that happened in Minneapolis, we’re addressing that in Missouri. We’re making sure law enforcement has the best tools possible to be successful and also to maintain high accountability.”
– Senator Brian Williams

Both lawmakers spent significant time discussing and dealing with House and Senate leadership to get the bill through. And after its passage, the pair garnered praise from colleagues on both sides of the aisle. 

“This was a big win for folks from across the political spectrum this year! Kudos to Luetkemeyer and Williams on a job well done.”
– Senate Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden

“So grateful to Senators Williams and Luetkemeyer for their yeoman’s work on passing this bill. It’s been an honor and a pleasure to work with them on getting this done.”
– GOP Rep. Shamed Dogan, Special Committee on Criminal Justice Chair