Update on Public Safety Bills in the General Assembly

As predicted, the Senate Democrats spent the second half of the 2022 session killing House public safety bills, including ones to improve criminal sentencing, probation oversight, bond rules, and police road safety enforcement. On a party-line vote, the Judiciary Committee members voted down a measure to ensure that child pornographers do not receive retroactively shorter sentences.

Despite compelling testimony from Taylor Shifflett, they even rejected Del. Rob Bell’s bill to allow prosecution for manslaughter of an unborn child.

There were some successes. The Assembly passed House Bill 4, which will require schools to report crimes like sexual battery and stalking to law enforcement. The bill will reverse the worst parts of a law that was passed over Republican objections in 2020 when Democrats were in the majority. The Assembly also passed Senate Bill 649, which will require that principals be notified when one of their students is arrested for certain serious offenses.

Some issues, like funding for law enforcement, are still being discussed as part of the state budget.

Source: Del. Rob Bell