Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer’s Legislative Column for April 9, 2021

Victims Before Criminals

During a legislative work week shortened one day by the Easter holiday, we engaged in several extended floor debates, with several measures moving out of the Senate chamber and onto the House of Representatives. Among the measures that advanced this week was Senate Bill 212, a package of legislation relating to the Department of Corrections and the state parole board. I proposed an amendment to that bill that requires offenders in Missouri’s prisons to pay restitution to their victims before receiving money from federal COVID-19 stimulus payments. That provision was accepted by my colleagues and will be part of the bill when it moves onto the House, presumably next week.

The reason for this change is simple: it is unacceptable for convicted murderers, rapists, child sex offenders and other dangerous felons to receive pandemic relief checks from the federal government. Certainly, it’s wrong for them to profit while they still owe restitution to their victims.

In other legislative action this week, the Senate confirmed the appointment of former Platte County prosecutor and former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves to the University of Missouri Board of Curators. A seventh-generation Missourian, Graves practices law and raises cattle on the same Platte County farm his great-great-great grandparents settled in 1867. He’s a graduate of the University of Missouri, where he earned a degree in agricultural economics before going onto law school. I was proud to present Todd to the Senate Gubernatorial Appointments Committee and I congratulate him on his confirmation. Todd comes from a long line of proud University of Missouri graduates, and I’m confident he’ll make a great addition to the UM Board of Curators.

It is my great honor to represent the citizens of Platte and Buchanan counties in the Missouri Senate. Please contact my office at (573) 751-2183, or visit