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Capitol Briefs: Senate bill seeks to block prisoners from receiving coronavirus stimulus checks


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Senate Judiciary Committee heard a bill Monday that would redirect coronavirus stimulus payments from inmates to victims of crime in Missouri. 

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, would require any COVID-19 stimulus money received by prisoners to be redirected to pay restitution to victims. Luetkemeyer said the bill would allow the benefits to go to those in need of financial support. 

“My legislation will ensure murderers, rapists, child sex offenders, and other dangerous felons do not profit from relief programs intended to help Americans recover from the pandemic,” he said. “Allowing prisoners to benefit from these programs, which were intended to help people reeling from job loss and economic devastation due to the pandemic, is wrong.”

  • Similar legislation aimed at blocking prisoners’ reception of the funds is working its way through multiple other state legislatures, according to Luetkemeyer.
  • The American Rescue Plan Act recently signed into law by President Joe Biden allocated another $1,400 to most Americans. Whether inmates are entitled to COVID relief has been debated on the national level for the past year.