Liberty Alliance, a conservative advocacy group, is supporting a Missouri crime reform bill that other conservatives oppose. The organization has launched a digital ad campaign to encourage Gov. Mike Parson to sign Senate Bill 600 into law.
“Throughout his long history of public service, including over 22 years in law enforcement, Gov. Parson has consistently been an advocate for law and order and has always supported our brave first responders,” Executive Director Chris Vas said. “Unfortunately, liberal fringe groups like the ACLU are working double-time to kill SB 600 and attack our governor. Liberty Alliance is committing thousands of dollars in a statewide digital ad campaign to send a clear message – Missourians support Gov. Parson’s law and order approach, and insiders and lobbyists won’t silence us.”
SB 600, sponsored by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, would make a number of changes to provisions on dangerous felonies, including revising the offense of conspiracy, altering probation standards and the definition of a street gang, increasing sentencing minimums and more.
The bill would cost taxpayers $16 million per year and is estimated to increase Missouri’s prison population by 2,500, resulting in $500 million on two new prisons to be built.
“Missouri has a choice: We can continue ignoring our violent crime issue, or we can become a law-and-order state,” Vas said. “Over the past month, radical liberals across our country have been supporting and enabling violent criminal mobs to rampage across our cities and commit acts of terror. Thankfully, legislative leaders in Missouri are working hard to fight violent crime and keep felons off of our streets.”
The bill has seen extensive support from Liberty Alliance and an endorsement from the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys since it passed through both chambers in May. It also has seen opposition from a number of organizations encouraging the governor to veto the bill, including the ACLU and Americans for Prosperity Missouri.
In a press release, Americans for Prosperity, an conservative economic policy organizatoin, stated, “Enacting a bill that doesn’t make Missourians safer and forces taxpayers to pay a half a billion dollars to pay for two new prisons is the wrong approach for our state. We should abandon the discredited tough on crime approach and follow states like Texas who have implemented smart-on-crime reforms that have resulted in the lowest crime rates since the 1960s and closed ten facilities. Vetoing this bill will be a huge step toward making our communities stronger and our criminal justice system more just and more compassionate.”
The ads will roll out on Facebook as well as across various websites. The bill currently is awaiting the governor’s signature.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice