Missouri congress passes crime bill that expands what is considered a felony

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Session ended yesterday in Jefferson City, but not before passing a big piece of legislation.

The bill expands what crimes are considered felonies.

If Gov. Parson signs the legislation it would also enhance penalties for violent crimes and broaden what’s considered a criminal gang.

Supporters say violent crime is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Others argue the bill would result in sending more people to prison, and that’s not how you address crime.

“If we do this bill, probation will not be allowed for most of the young adults and juveniles that we are charging,” said Rep. Barbara Washington (D-Kansas City). “We will not only cost the state more money, we will cost our communities more pain.”

“We are not locking people away who are just walking down the street and happened to steal a Snickers bar,” said Rep. Nick Schroer of O’Fallon. “These are people that are felons that should not have weapons to begin with. These are violent felons that we are addressing here.”

The legislation also makes carjacking a felony.

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