After stalling for several weeks on the Senate debate calendar, SB 588, which would close the criminal records of some ex-offenders, got new life this week. In a surprise move the Democrats offered to end a filibuster on a voter ID bill in exchange for passage of the expungement bill. With the voter ID bill now passed by both chambers SB 558 is moving quickly.
Sponsored by Sen. Bob Dixon (R-Springfield), SB 588 shortens the wait time to expunge criminal records while expanding the offenses eligible for the process. The bill could have a positive impact on ex-offenders who want to obtain better jobs, but are hindered by a criminal past. This consensus legislation has the support of the Missouri Bar, defense attorneys and prosecutors as well as other organizations including the MCC.
In just a matter of a few days this bill cleared the Senate, passed the House Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee and is poised for debate by the full House. This bill is on a horse race to the finish line!