Missouri State Representative Kevin Corlew represents Missouri House district 14. Most of Representative Corlew’s district is in Platte County, but a small portion of it extends into Clay County. This is his May 5, 2015 Legislative Update newsletter. In it he discusses recent legislation concerning human trafficking, education, and courts. For more information on our Opinion Section please click here.
House Approves Legislation to Create Human Trafficking Task Force (HCR 38)
The members of the House took action this week to combat the fastest growing criminal industry in the world – human trafficking. The House approved legislation to create the Human Trafficking Task Force with the mission of raising awareness of the human trafficking problem in Missouri and providing organizations and agencies that enforce human trafficking laws and assist victims with a central place to share information. The task force is charged with reporting a summary of its activities and making any recommendations for legislation to the General Assembly by January 1, 2017.
House Moves to Better Prepare Students for Success in College (SB 172)
The House approved a wide-ranging education bill that includes a provision to better prepare Missouri high school students for success in college. The bill would require school districts to develop a policy and implement a system for identifying students in their ninth-grade year who are at risk of not being ready for college-level work or for entry-level career positions. Students would be provided with academic and career counseling prior to graduation to ensure they are able to graduate prepared and on time.
In addition, the state education department would recognize school districts that develop individualized personal plans of study to meet the needs of seventh grade students. Such plans would include the requirements for graduation, the student’s career or postsecondary goals, coursework related to the goals, and career-related experiences.
Supporters said the provision addresses the need for remediation in Missouri. They noted that 38.7 percent of high school graduates need a remedial course in English or Mathematics during their freshman year in college. The bill will help the state to implement steps to make ensure that students graduate from high school on time and ready.
House Approves Armed Offender Docket Pilot Project
On Thursday, the House voted to pass HB 1044 by a vote of 130-15. This measure would allow the Jackson County Court to establish a separate criminal docket in Kansas City for specified gun crimes. The bill makes no further gun restrictions but instead provides for the swift enforcement of the laws we already have, by creating a more efficient method of processing the cases. The goal of the specialized court is to shorten case-disposition times, increase conviction rates, decrease re-offense rates, and reduce violent crime in Kansas City. The bill has a research component in which the University of Missouri – Kansas City will study the pilot project for 6 years to make sure the objectives are being met. The bill will now move to the Senate.