The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a long list of bills Wednesday including House Bill 2472, which gives district attorney’s more discretion in charging people with felonies or misdemeanors.
“The goal is to cut down on prison overcrowding. So, sometimes they decide not to do any kind of charge because they know they can only do the felony,” said Senator Greg Treat (R) District 47. “So, now we can actually serve justice in a more efficient way by charging misdemeanors where it’s more appropriate.”
The committee also passed House Bill 2527 which would stop end of year instruction exams for students and House Bill 2719, the so called creating humanity of the unborn child act. House Bill 2864, which would have consolidated state law enforcement divisions, failed.
“You got human resources, support staff, all that stuff. Buildings,” said Senator Ralph Shorty (R) District 44. “There’s a tremendous amount of savings that can be realized.”
But Senator Roger Thompson (R) District 8 said, “I am not supportive of it. I believe it’s a solution looking for a problem.”
The committee also passed House Bill 2747 to create blue alerts to let the public know when a police officer has been assaulted so the public can be on the lookout for the assailant. House members also passed Senate Bill 1491, which would make a person convicted of domestic abuse face a much stiffer charge if they re-offend.
“It allows the DA to charge a felony of they can prove an additional element that there’s been a prior pattern of domestic abuse in the household,” said Representative Scott Biggs (R) District 51.