Yesterday was a busy but good day at the General Assembly.
SB 259 sponsored by Senator Lucas was unanimously voted out of the Senate Courts of Justice committee! It was set for its first reading on the Senate floor’s uncontested docket today and will hopefully move through the Senate without any problem. SB 259 will reduce the number of youth housed with adult offenders in adult jails by requiring evidence finding of dangerousness (other than the youth is being tried as an adult) before a youth can be moved from a juvenile detention center to an adult jail.
Both SB 205 sponsored by Senator Edwards and SB 389 sponsored by Senator McDougle were referred out of the Senate Courts of Justice committee to the Virginia State Crime Commission yesterday. We are pleased with this outcome as it will avoid the unnecessary broadening of Virginia’s transfer laws at this time. As we have said before, we believe that more study of this issue will further highlight the problems with Virginia’s transfer system making the need for change even more apparent. Additional time will allow us to add more groups to the 45+ already showing their support for reform by signing on to the Campaign, to open the eyes of more people to the problems with trying youth as adults, to gather more stories about how transfer is impacting our youth, families, and communities, and to grow the Don’t Throw Away the Key Campaign.
There are still bills in the House of Delegates that would result in negative changes to the transfer system. We will keep you posted on how those proceed and there will certainly be opportunities for advocacy when those bills are set to be heard.
- Thank Senator Lucas for her sponsorship of SB 259 and the members of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee (Marsh (Chairman), Saslaw, Quayle, Norment, Howell, Lucas, Edwards, Reynolds, Puller, Obenshain, McDougle, Deeds, Hurt, McEachin, Petersen) for their votes on SB 259! You can express your thanks to the Senators by phone call, email, or letter.
The name and contact information for your Senator can be found here:
- Thank Senator Edwards for his patronage of SB 205 and support for reform of Virginia’s system of trying youth as adults. Senator Edwards’ contact information is below:
General Assembly Building, Room 309
Richmond, Virginia 23219
- Be on the lookout for more information as the session progresses! Things move quickly during the General Assembly session so watch your email closely and be prepared to take action on short notice.