Yesterday after a 7+ hour Committee hearing, it was still going on when we left right before 9PM SB86 was FINALLY amended with a start date of July 1, 2016 only because I remained in the room if I had gone home this date was not going to be added by the patron.
So this is very good news for anyone who was previously convicted of this statute when it was a misdemeanor, if it actually does become a felony this coming July.
There is a House version of this Bill to0 (HB1317-Delegate Ben Cline) an identical bill in each chamber is called “Companion Bills”.
Since the Senate inserted the date into SB86, the only way the Senate will accept the House Bill when it reaches the Senate after Cross-Over Day is for it to be conformed identically to how SB86 was at the time of the final Senate vote. This means I probably won’t bother fighting with the House Courts of Justice Criminal Sub Committee members who would just refuse to add a start date, it will get added in the Senate down the line.
BUT….I will keep an eye on SB86 to make sure the date isn’t removed prior to the final vote in the Senate, which is always a possibility.
Thank you all for sending those email’s and making those phone calls.
The Senate Courts of Justice knew when I stood to insist on a start date that I hadn’t been the only one making this request, they had been hearing from all of you prior to yesterday.