JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Senate has voted to increase the age for automatically trying suspects as adults from 17 to 18.

The bill was unanimously approved Thursday. Missouri is one of just five states that always try 17-year-olds in adult courts. The bill would still allow suspects as young as 12 to be tried in adult courts for certain serious crimes.

Supporters argue that the move will improve rehabilitation of younger offenders. The bill would add a filing fee for civil cases to help the juvenile system pay for hundreds of 17-year-olds currently overseen by adult courts.

The bill now moves to the House, where a similar proposal was approved last year.


Senate bill is SB 793 .