JEFFERSON CITY - A program to give quick public information about abductions came one step closer to legislative approval on Wednesday.
The Senate gave first round approval to the bill, which would establish the "Alert Missouri System."
The program would include the State Highway Patrol, Missouri Lottery, and departments of public safety, transportation, and health and senior services. Other groups, including local law enforcement agencies and radio and television stations would have the option of participating.
However, the system wouldn't focus solely on abductions. Alerts could also be issued for emergencies related to homeland security.
Estimates project the cost to the state at about $8,000.
The Senate bill is similar to a House version passed Monday, which now awaits a committee hearing in the Senate.
The House bill includes a provision charging those who issue false reports to the system with Class A misdemeanors. The Senate version does not.
The Senate bill removes the requirement for a citizen from each Alert Missouri region to serve on an oversight committee. The House bill includes the provision.
"I don't know if to have them in there was completely necessary," said Sen. Harry Kennedy, D-St. Louis, a co-sponsor of the bill.
The bill must pass a final vote in the Senate before it goes to the House.