JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Judges could issue lifelong restraining orders that also cover pets under a bill passed by the Missouri Legislature on Monday.

Currently, orders of protection are limited to at most one year. After that, victims have to go back to court to get an extension.

GENERIC: Missouri Capitol

Under the bill, approved by the Senate 31-0, judges have the option to grant restraining orders for longer lengths of time depending on the potential threat. The orders could be programmed to be automatically renewed.

The person with the restraining order against them would have to prove that they have been rehabilitated and are no longer a threat in order for the protection orders to be lifted early.

The measure also would allow orders of protection to cover pets.

Republican bill sponsor Sen. Elaine Gannon said that provision would be a tool against people who might threaten someone's pet as a way to emotionally hurt its owner.

The measure now heads to Republican Gov. Mike Parson's desk.

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