Senate Passes Board Bill

Prison Inmate

This week, the Senate passed HB 192, sponsored by Rep. Bruce DeGroot (R-Chesterfield), by a vote of 32-0. Known as the board bill, this bill would end the practice of imprisoning people who can't pay the cost of room and board when they are imprisoned in county jails. This practice is particularly rampant in rural counties. The bill states that a county could still try to collect the fees by civil means. The Supreme Court recently heard two cases relating to board bills and ruled against the practice, and DeGroot's bill would codify the prohibition in state law.

The bill was also amended to include language that addresses mandatory minimum sentences. The bill lists the crimes for which mandatory minimum sentences would still apply. A person who commits a crime not on this list would be eligible for parole, conditional release or early release. According to the Department of Corrections, this legislation would impact approximately 1,000 offenders by 2023.

Because additional amendments were added to the bill, it will need to return to the House for a final vote.

May 10, 2019 - 2:35pm
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