Protecting the Children of Our State
As a mother, a grandmother and a retired schoolteacher, one of my top priorities is ensuring the children of our state have a bright future. Whether it is working to provide additional resources to our state’s public schools, supporting legislation to help kids in foster care or protecting our youth from those who prey on their innocence, our children deserve to grow up in a community where they feel safe and protected.
Over the past three years, I have filed legislation to protect our kids from being in the same place as registered sex offenders. Senate Bill 91 makes it illegal for an individual convicted of certain sex crimes from being present or loitering within 500 feet of a ball field or sports complex primarily used by children. I have heard from several constituents on how this is an issue in our community. When confronted outside of a local ball field, these individuals have refused to leave — putting our children at risk of interacting with them. As the bill moved through the committee process, one of my colleagues added an amendment to SB 91 applying the same distance requirement to educational and nature facilities maintained by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), unless the offender is a parent of a child participating in a program at one of the facilities and has permission from the MDC to be there.
The safety of our children is incredibly important, and I believe this legislation is a step toward keeping them safe in places where they shouldn’t have to be afraid of being harassed by registered sex offenders. I am thankful my colleagues in the Missouri Senate unanimously approved SB 91 and sent the legislation to the Missouri House of Representatives for their consideration.
I am also proud to report my legislation extending the RX Cares for Missouri Program has been passed by the Missouri Senate and sent to the Missouri House for further deliberation. During debate on Senate Bill 63, I was able to amend the proposal to include my language extending the program through Aug. 28, 2026. The RX Cares for Missouri Program promotes medication safety and works to prevent prescription drug abuse, misuse and diversion in our state. In addition, the program also provides a safe avenue for Missourians to dispose of unused and expired prescription medication. According to the Missouri Department of Mental Health, an estimated 235,000 Missourians misused prescription drugs in the past year. That statistic is unacceptable, and as a state, we need to do everything we can to prevent these individuals from falling into a life of addiction that can have deadly consequences. I truly believe in this program, and I am hopeful that by extending it we can make a difference in the lives of those battling addiction.
It is an honor to be your state senator, and my door is always open to your concerns, questions or comments. Please feel free to contact me at (573) 751-2757 or visit my web page at www.senate.mo.gov/riddle.