JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, sponsored legislation blocking inmates at Missouri prisons from pocketing federal stimulus payments intended to help Americans recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Presented in the Senate Judiciary Committee today, the measure would require any stimulus money prisoners receive to be redirected to pay restitution for victims.
“My legislation will ensure murderers, rapists, child sex offenders and other dangerous felons do not profit from relief programs intended to help Americans recover from the pandemic,” Sen. Luetkemeyer said. “Allowing prisoners to benefit from these programs, which were intended to help people reeling from job loss and economic devastation due to the pandemic, is wrong.”
Legislation recently enacted by Congress includes direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans earning less than $75,000 per year. The question of whether inmates are entitled to COVID-19 relief funds has led to a series of court challenges and IRS rulings throughout the past year. Senator Luetkemeyer’s proposal is similar to legislation currently being considered in several other states, which seek to block inmates from receiving the money, and direct it to victims instead.
For more information about Sen. Luetkemeyer, visit www.senate.mo.gov/mem34.