The legislature’s Judiciary Committee approved a series of bills which are now being considered by the House or Senate.
Among the more contested measures the Judiciary Committee moved forward on was one aimed at reducing heightened penalty zones for selling drugs near schools.
The bill cleared the committee by a vote of 21 in favor and 19 against, right before the committee’s deadline. If passed into law, the measure will shrink the size of zones around schools, day care centers and public housing complexes that carry enhanced penalties for drug sale convictions.
The law would make the zones 200-feet in diameter, compared to the current size of 1,500 feet.
One of the members of the committee, Rep. Arthur O’Neill, said there were a number of bills that were cleared for minor changes to existing laws. “There were some minor changes to address concerns about alimony laws,” O’Neill said. “We would still have lifetime alimony [if the bill passes] but there would be some technical changes.”
For instance, in the alimony bill, language was changed from “husband” to “spouse” when describing that neither party would have any right to property acquired by the other spouse before the marriage or after it ends.
There were also changes approved to statutes of limitations in criminal and civil law matters. For instance, a bill would eliminate a statute of limitations in manslaughter with a motor vehicle cases, which is currently two years from the date of death.
State agencies were get an extended statute of limitations of 10 years to bring a civil suit for any reason under a bill that was also approved by the Judiciary Committee.
One of the more controversial items of legislation to be moved forward was the so-called “Revenge Porn” bill. If passed into law, the measure would make it a crime for anyone to share nude photos or videos of former lovers, as long as the act is done “with the intent to harass, annoy, alarm, or terrorize another person.”