Yesterday, the Missouri House of Representatives took the first step to return local control of the St Louis Police Department to the citizens of St Louis City shielding their constituents from potentailly large payments to support the state controlled police department located the City. The vote was an overwhelming, veto proof one – 123-34. It will be interesting to watch what games are played by some between this vote and the final (3rd) reading of the bill.
We know that some opponents of the bill voted “yes”. It could have been because the National Rifle Asssocation (NRA) supported a couple of amendments to the bill and made them rated votes. Those voting “yes” on perfection may now believe they can vote no since their “rated” vote has been registered. If that is what they are doing, they will undoubtedly be surprised to learn that the vote on 3rd read will also be rated. Now what?
Or it could be that some were just trying to game the system a little bit. There is no doubt that there is overwhelming support for the measure in the House. Legislators from all across the state understand that local control is a solid conservative issue. They also understand the exposure that their constituents already face with $5.7 million in payouts over the last five (5) years for actions by the St Louis Police Department from the State Legal Defense Fund. This is $5.7 million dollars that didn’t go to their constituents’ schools or other needs around the state.
These legislators also understand that there is a bigger potential of economic loss to state taxpayers by maintaining state control of the St Louis Police Department. Not one, but many court cases have clearly placed the state taxpayers in direct line for picking up the tab for the state controlled police force in St Louis City above an amount of approxmiately $66 million.
This week we captured some video statements from some folks in Jefferson City. Here is a sample of three of those folks.
Those who might be changing their votes need to understand that their constituents are made up of more than just a few folks. It’s clear from responses to action alerts, various phone calls and other means that there isn’t a district in which the majority of people don’t believe returning local control is not only the right thing to do but is necessary to save their tax money.
We will see soon who gets the message.