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Mo. lawmakers begin pre-filing bills for 2010

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By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers today began pre-filing bills for their 2010 legislative session, which begins next month.

Among the several dozen bills filed so far are two that would extend the ban on texting-while-driving to everyone. A law was signed earlier this year that only applies to drivers age 21 and younger.

Some bills that fail every year are back. They include one that would make it a crime to coerce a woman into having an abortion, and another that would allow motorcyclists age 21 and older to ride without a helmet.

Another bill would lower the age that people can get permits to carry concealed weapons from 23 to 21. And there's proposed legislation that would allow people to carry guns to worship services. It's sponsored by State Representative Cynthia Davis (R, O'Fallon).

"It's about protecting the innocent...if you were sitting in a church, and a bad guy came in who was bent on hurting people, wouldn't you appreciate having a good guy stand up and subdue him?" Davis said.

Another pre-filed bill would return control of St. Louis' police force to local officials. Four of the five commissioners that oversee the St. Louis Police Department are appointed by the governor.

The 2010 legislative session begins January 6th.

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