MO Statehouse
7:11 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

STL Police local control bill stalls in Mo. Senate

Legislation that would restore local control over the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has stalled in the Missouri Senate

Two St. Louis-area Senators, Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) and Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D, University City), began a filibuster of the bill today.

Chappelle-Nadal says city leaders will raid police pensions if they regain local control.

“Any time that these funds are taken from their true purpose and redelivered into a general revenue, do you think that that is honoring the people who have stood for us?" Chappelle-Nadal said.

In addition, Lembke has offered a substitute version of the bill.  It would allow local control, but would also shrink the number of aldermanic wards to four and give the mayor power to make appointments to some elected positions. 

The main bill's sponsor, State Senator Joseph Keaveny (D, St. Louis), calls the substitute version unacceptable.

“The substitute has the mayor appoint several of the county offices, as now they are elected by the people," Keaveny said.  "It has nothing to do with the St. Louis Police Department…it has nothing to do with local control.”

But Keaveny also said he would accept Lembke’s version for the sake of moving the local control issue forward.  Keaveny’s bill already has an unfriendly amendment that would reduce the number of aldermanic districts to seven.

The local control issue easily passed the Missouri House last month.