Hearing for Missouri Bail Bond Bill Canceled

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This week's cover story on bail bondsmen mentions Senate Bill 1247, in which we wrote: "In February, Sen. Maida Coleman, a St. Louis Democrat, introduced Senate Bill 1247 that would take oversight of the bail industry away from the Department of Insurance and place it in the hands of a "professional bail bond board."

Oddly enough, a hearing on that bill was canceled Thursday -- the day after our story was published.

The bail bond board being discussed in the statehouse would be responsible for all licensing, registration, discipline and rule-making for the state's bondsmen and bounty hunters. Though it does contain a provision requiring bondsmen to notify the proposed board within ten days of pleading guilty to a felony, it nonetheless retains the language of the ''Lee Clause.''

According to the Missouri Ethics Commission, Coleman in 2006 received $800 in contributions from Allison, Carroll and the MPBBA. Last month, Representative Will Kraus of Kirksville sponsored nearly identical legislation. Neither Coleman's nor Kraus' offices returned calls seeking comment.

On her Web site, Park decries the proposals as a "bail bond power grab" by the MPBBA and writes that, "The association would like to pass legislation that will feed revenues to the association and require its continued existence."

The bill was scheduled for a hearing next week in front of the Senate Financial and Governmental Organizations and Elections Committee.

-Keegan Hamilton

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