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Governor to Decide if Criminals Pay

By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, Mo. – After years of trying, Missouri sheriffs are celebrating passage of legislation that would allow judges to make criminals pay into a fund for law enforcement.

The measure has been around for several years, and passed last year, only to be vetoed by Governor Holden.

But supporters think they have found the proper wording this year to find acceptance from the governor, and to withstand a constitutional challenge.

The "County Law Enforcement Restitution Fund" is included in a larger crime bill that passed near the end of the legislative session, which concluded Friday.

Under the bill, counties would first need to create a fund, and then judges in those counties could order certain criminals to pay up to $300 per offense into the fund.

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