- Fatal-shooting victim ID'd; uncle said he tried to break up fight (9/29/16)28
- Driver charged with manslaughter in crash that killed 2 (9/27/16)
- Perryville man arrested for alleged patronizing prostitution, harassment (9/23/16)6
- Perryville High principal on leave; no reason given (9/28/16)9
- Video and evidence largely confirm trooper's claims in April traffic stop shooting (9/23/16)9
- Cape man may lose eye after shovel beating, police say (9/25/16)2
- Animal-rescue group receives grant from rock star for spay, neuter assistance (9/28/16)1
- Monia pleads guilty to 9 counts of financial exploitation of elderly; dealings with murderer Joseph clarified (9/28/16)11
- Woman accused of pushing Wal-Mart employee after theft (9/27/16)
- Planning, design puts renovations of H-H building into hotel on hold (9/26/16)6
Bill's cost impact is unknown
To the editor:Among legislation not widely mentioned this year is House Bill 366. Referred to as the Special Committee on State Parks and Waterways, the bill makes it a crime to distribute a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a public or private park. It was already a crime to distribute controlled substances at these locations, but this bill changes the penalty to a Class A felony, with a 10- to 30-year prison sentence, the same as second-degree murder.
Forget that our lawmakers have been broken records, repeating "tough on drugs" for decades. Ignore that the concept of "private" parks might lead an over zealous prosecutor to argue that any person's lawn or garden is a private park. And never mind that this law won't effect Missouri's drug problem. The real trouble is in the fiscal implications or lack thereof.
The state claims there will be no financial impact from the bill. However, this estimation springs from a variety of questionable assumptions. Missouri's Department of Corrections says there's no significant impact if fewer than seven people are imprisoned under the law. The Office of Prosecution Services reports that they cannot estimate the bill's impact, but assumes that costs can be offset to county or local entities. The state can't figure out what this bill costs, so they say it won't cost anything. In essence there are likely tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of tax dollars that will need to be spent for a law that's unlikely to impact Missouri's drug problem.
BAILEY HIRSCHBURG, Cape Girardeau