Missouri Senate endorses criminal code overhaul

Apr 8, 2014

Credit v1ctor Casale / Flickr

The Missouri Senate has given preliminary approval to legislation that would overhaul the state's criminal laws and create new punishment ranges for felonies and misdemeanors.

Monday's vote comes after weeks of negotiations among lawmakers and Gov. Jay Nixon, who expressed reservations about the measure's length.

In response, the Senate approved a version of the bill that was 400 pages shorter than the original proposal.

The smaller measure also addresses another controversial provision by keeping the current maximum $1,000 fine for first-time possession of small amounts of marijuana. Under the previous version, the maximum fine would have been reduced to $500. Neither version included possible jail time, in a difference from current law.

The bill needs one more affirmative Senate vote before moving to the House.