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Maryland Juvenile Justice Reform Bill Passes State Senate – CBS Baltimore

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – The Maryland Senate passed a significant juvenile justice reform measure on Monday as lawmakers hit a key date in their 90-day session with three weeks left.

The reform legislation, which has now entered the House of Commons, generally says that a child under the age of 13 will not be subject to juvenile court jurisdiction for criminal proceedings and may not be charged. But juvenile courts will have jurisdiction over a child who is 10 years old or older and has committed the most serious crimes, like murder and other violent crimes.

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The bill, sponsored by Senator Jill Carter, is based on recommendations from a state assembly.

The Senate also passed a separate bill last week barring a law enforcement officer from conducting custodial questioning of a child, unless the child has consulted with an attorney.

A separate bill that would end the policy of automatically charging certain children 14 and older for more than 30 different crimes remains stuck in a legislative committee.

Overall, however, Carter said the two measures passed by the Senate represent significant reform steps.

“I still think it’s the most important juvenile reform we’ve passed since I was a member of the legislature, a long time ago,” said Carter, a party member. Democrat Baltimore, who has been a legislator since 2003, said.

Jenny Egan, a public defender who served as a member of the Juvenile Justice Reform Council, said she was disappointed with the measure to end automatic toll collection for some children when adults have been arrested. stalled, but she said she believes the measures that have been passed by the Senate are crucial. , with the potential for further growth in the coming years.

Almost all of the children charged as adults in Maryland are Black or brown, Egan said, who are raised in a more adult system than white children.

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“It’s a human rights violation that needs to be and must be addressed, so we’re sad we didn’t get it resolved this year, but I think the legislature and the judicial committees have really turned their attention to juveniles. Egan said.

The lawmakers reached their crossover date on Monday. That’s the deadline lawmakers set to try to get legislation they plan to pass through one of the chambers. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn at midnight on April 11.

Lawmakers are still working out the details of a $350 million budget for tax relief. Amid a huge budget surplus, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, pushed for the gradual elimination of income taxes for retirees as well as the introduction of a permanent enhanced income tax credit. The allowance for lower-income workers was introduced last year as a temporary measure.

Senate President Bill Ferguson, a Baltimore Democrat, said the senators were in close negotiations with the administration and the House of Representatives.

“I think we are thinking about retirees. Ferguson said. “Nothing is worth discussing until we come to an agreement.”

The Senate passed the state’s $58.5 billion on Friday. It’s in the house now.

As lawmakers enter the final three weeks of session, they will also internalize legislation to legalize recreational marijuana. The House of Representatives passed a constitutional amendment to give voters a chance to decide on the issue in November. The House also passed legislation to include the right to abortion in the state constitution. That proposal, as well as separate legislation designed to expand access to abortion in the state, has now been introduced in the Senate.

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https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/03/21/maryland-juvenile-justice-reform-bill-passes-state-senate/ Maryland Juvenile Justice Reform Bill Passes State Senate – CBS Baltimore

Jake Nichol

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