August 1, 2011
Joplin, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today spoke to the Missouri Sheriffs Association in Joplin, providing updates to the sheriffs on issues such as pseudoephedrine prescription laws and the deputy sheriff pay law.
Koster told the sheriffs he is pleased with the progress of dozens of municipalities and counties passing ordinances to make products that contain pseudoephedrine available by prescription in order to address Missouri’s meth problem. Koster noted that sheriffs, who see firsthand the threat to communities from meth-making, have led the way in advocating for prescription laws.
Last year, the Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill sponsored by Representative Dave Schatz to require prescriptions for products containing pseudoephedrine. Although the legislation did not pass the Senate, Koster said he is hopeful for movement next year.
“The legislation gained substantial support throughout the session, thanks to sheriffs, local prosecutors and other law-enforcement personnel who are of the overwhelming belief that prescription requirements for pseudoephedrine products would bring the most dramatic resolution to Missouri’s meth crisis,” Koster said. “I hope the Missouri General Assembly will consider, and enact, the legislation next session.”
Koster also said sheriffs’ pay has become an embarrassment to the state of Missouri. He noted that 27 sheriffs earn less than $40,000 per year, with several earning in the $20,000 and low $30,000 range. Koster said sheriffs carry out law enforcement mandate in 114 counties of Missouri, and additionally, carry both the responsibility and liability of maintaining our state’s jail system. He said that lifting sheriffs’ pay would be for the future of law enforcement’s benefit to the state.