JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Legislature has voted to raise the age at which suspects are automatically prosecuted as adults from 17 to 18.
The bill, approved by the Senate Thursday in a 32-1 vote, would add a $3.50 charge to all civil lawsuits to help the juvenile justice system absorb more people.
Youth charged with certain serious crimes could still be tried as adults. Currently, Missouri is one of five states to automatically try 17-year-olds in adult courts.
The bill would also allow youth forced into prostitution to have their court records wiped clean.
The bill will next go to the governor’s desk.