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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has given preliminary approval to the first overhaul of the state's criminal code since 1979.
The measure endorsed on Monday would create new classes of felonies and misdemeanors and give judges more flexibility in sentencing.
Sponsoring Republican Rep. Stanley Cox, of Sedalia, said the measure would provide more clarity in sentencing.
Democratic Rep. Rory Ellinger, of St. Louis, said the bill could have done more and reduced sentences for some crimes, But he said it was important to keep the measure non-controversial so it could pass.
The overhaul would also increase fines to reflect inflation. It needs one more vote before moving to the Senate.
WENTZVILLE, Mo. -- AP -- Police say a St. Louis-area teenager had a simple answer for leading police on a lengthy, dangerous chase: He didn’t want to miss prom.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the chase happened Friday in Wentzville. The suspect, 19-year-old Daniel Buck of O’Fallon, is charged with felony resisting arrest and several traffic citations.
An officer sought to pull over an SUV for numerous active warrants. Police say Buck saw police and sped away. Stop sticks eventually disabled the SUV.
Buck allegedly told police he fled because he was driving with a revoked license and had nine warrants for failure to appear on various charges. He reportedly said he didn’t want to go to jail because he was supposed to take his girlfriend to prom the next night.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton says he will keep working to pass a pension reform bill he believes can survive a court challenge.
Rikeesha Phelon says Cullerton and fellow Democrat House Speaker Michael Madigan have "the same goal but different approaches" to solving Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis.
Madigan filed his pension plan on Tuesday. It caps the salary on which a pension can be based at $110,000 and limits annual cost-of-living increases.
Madigan's legislation also removes language from a plan backed by Cullerton that got Senate approval last month. Cullerton's plan offers affected state-government employees and teachers a choice of benefits instead of unilaterally cutting them.
Cullerton believes the state must give retirees a choice in benefits in order for the legislation to be considered constitutional.