House Floor Actions
March 2, 2023
H. 3532, committing crimes while out on bond, passed the full House and was sent to the Senate for consideration and debate.
This measure would impose a mandatory five-year jail term for anyone out on a pretrial bond, or other pretrial release, for committing a statutorily-listed violent crime who is then found, beyond a reasonable doubt, to have committed another, unrelated, and statutorily-listed, violent crime including rape, domestic violence, offenses involving preying on minors, strong arm robbery, weapons offenses, or using weapons to commit these types of crimes while out of jail on bond. This sentence could run consecutively or concurrently, in the discretion of the trial judge.
This jail time could be imposed only after the conclusion of a separate sentencing hearing, to be conducted as soon as possible after a defendant is convicted of the second, unrelated violent crime. If a defendant is found guilty of the second violent crime through a jury verdict, that jury would hear all evidence related to this offense. If a conviction results after a non-jury hearing or guilty plea, the trial judge would hear the entire, relevant evidence as defined in this proposal.
Solicitors would be required to file a 30-Day Notice with defendants of their intent to pursue this charge. They also would have to prove the elements of it beyond a reasonable doubt.
Once the first pretrial bond or other pretrial release is revoked, and a written order has been issued with findings of fact and conclusions of law, a hearing on setting any subsequent bond would have to be held within 14 days of the first bond being revoked. Any subsequent bond in these circumstances would have to be paid in full in US currency, to the exclusion of all other forms of bond, but could be posted either by a defendant or with a bondsman. Motions for revocation or modification of any bond would have to be in writing and held within 30 days after being filed.
While serving this sentence, offenders would not be eligible for good-time credits, parole, work release, or extended work release. Defendants or prosecutors would still be able to file speedy trial motions for disposition of this offense.
Also approved and sent to the Senate was H. 3591, a joint resolution to facilitate a ballot referendum on the question of whether an existing state constitutional provision prohibiting direct public funding for religious or other private educational institutions should be repealed. Historically known as Blaine Amendments, these state constitutional provisions were included across our country in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to prohibit public funding from finding its way to religious or other private educational institutions.
H. 3857 codifies Proviso 11.20 of the FY 2022-23 Appropriations Act. This bill allows a state college or university under the Doctoral/Professional University classification to offer college-level baccalaureate, master’s, and no more than five professional doctorate or Doctor of Philosophy degrees, and further provides that the mission of these degrees or programs include continued education or employment, limited and specialized research, and public service to the state and local community.