The bill's sponsor, Rep. Sam Page, D-St. Louis County, was the only person to testify on the bill before the committee.
"The proposal was not triggered by any specific instance," Page said. "It's a common-sense bill."
Page told the committee the measure is modeled after a similar one in Illinois. Under the measure, public universities and community junior colleges would be required to perform a check of the state's sex offender registry for each housing applicant. Schools would be prohibited from providing housing to any person found on the list.
The director of residential life for the University of Missouri-Columbia, Frankie Minor, said that in anticipation of the bill's passage the university is using this semester as a test to estimate the logistics the bill would require.
Minor said they have begun checking every current resident's name against the Missouri registration list of sex offenders.
Page acknowledged there would be a cost to the bill, but that it would be minimal. "One university indicated that they currently do this for $252 for 2,500 applications," he said.
Eric Grospitch, director of residential life at University of Missouri-Kansas City, agreed.
"Would it be time intensive? Yes. Expensive? No," he said.
The bill, as it is currently drafted, would require checking an applicant only against Missouri's registration list, not other states' lists.
.No one testified against the bill. The committee took no immediate action.