This week, the Senate passed SB 793, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Wallingford (R-Cape Girardeau), by a vote of 31-0. Known as “Raise the Age”, this bill would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 17 years old to 18 years old. This bill has been gathering momentum all session. Thanks to all the MOCAN members who contacted their senators urging passage of this issue! Senators spoke on the floor about the large number of messages they received.
This bill is following the national trend of raising the age for juveniles. Missouri is one of only five states that still automatically treats 17-year-olds as adults. Sen. Wallingford spoke about how this move would take youth away from prison and move them into rehabilitation. Earlier in the day, the bill was passed out of fiscal review. The bill has a high fiscal note, but with a three-year delay in implementation of the bill, and a $3.50 charge on court filings, the state should have the revenue needed to adequately take care of young people in the juvenile system.