HB 1269 Scrubbing Criminal Records Act This bill allows for a simplified and accelerated expungement of the criminal charge and conviction if a person had been convicted of a felony for a crime that is now considered a misdemeanor. It also allows the Pardon and Parole Board to release convicted felons if the crime they were convicted of is now a misdemeanor. Even felons out on suspended or deferred sentences that are revoked for committing more crimes or refusing to pay the court fines and fees or restitution can be released if the new misdemeanor sentence is shorter than the time they already served in county jail awaiting trial or while out in the world serving a suspended sentence. So there is no longer a toll for breaking the law if you are out on suspended sentence or deferred sentence. This tactic is used a lot to get criminals off the street without a lot of expense by the state. They get their day in court but it is a very quick hearing. It is great that an ex con can clean up his record after five or ten years of good behavior but it is another thing to scrub the criminal records so that employers or potential partners/spouses cannot find a felon’s criminal record.
HB 1411 Affordable Housing Builder Credit In Metro extends the affordable housing tax credit, expands the counties where the credit is available and limits the carry forward to two years from five years. Pure corporate welfare, these houses would be built regardless of any tax credit. This is just businesses and a trade association bribing legislators to get money back.
HB1774 route 66 commission act was pushed by idiot Lt. Gov. Matt Pinell. The idea is to spend millions preparing for a centennial celebration for Route 66. What a waste of tax dollars just a greasy turd politician gets some publicity.
HB 2009 the Reduced Prison Time for Sex Offenders Act reduces sentence on second conviction for non violent and sex offenders. Now sex offenders face up to twice the original sentence if they are caught and convicted again. Had this bill passed this year sex offenders would face only up to one quarter of original sentence plus whatever sentence is handed down for the second offense. Keep in mind that most crimes are pled way down to avoid the cost of a prosecution and trial so the majority of these child molesters never face serious prison time under the 85% rule. Luckily the bill failed to pass but it is still a live round for next session.
HB 2095 Clean Fuels Credit Extension Extends the tax credit on clean fuel vehicles seven more years, removes hydrogen fuel cells from the list of acceptable technologies, but lowers the tax credit amount for passenger cars and trucks and massively raises it for heavy trucks. Limits it to $20 million a year but this is basically welfare for trucking companies and large fleet owners.
HB 2218 Waive Court Costs for Criminals Act This bill waives fines, costs, and fees if a parolee is enrolled in work training, school, or vo tech center. The law credits the value of a forty hour week at minimum wage against court fees and costs. Nothing states that the parolee or ex con has to complete the classes or pass, attendance alone will chop off $290.00 per week so in ten weeks of class the average convicted felon will have his court fines and fees paid. Considering that the vast majority of convicts rarely pay a cent of their court fines and fees and if they do it is at $40.00 per month, this seems excessive. It also drives a lot of career criminals into school for a few months without asking if they are even a candidate for straightening up their lives. A change to requiring a completion of a degree would help, as would allowing them $40.00 per month credit to keep the court off their back while they are in school. But allowing over $1,100.00 in fees and fine credit for nothing is a very bad idea and subject to abuse.
The bill also makes a maximum of two years on DA supervision and limits the cost to $40 per week. That is actually a decent idea although $40.00 a month plus drug testing would be enough for a parolee. The law also allowed a judge to consider if the convict was working a job and allow weekend incarceration instead of revocation and prison yet judges already have the ability to do this and more. The law also limits deferred sentences to four years and community supervision to one year. And what is community supervision? The Court supervises the convicts, they walk in the door, lay down a check, and leave. Parts of this bill are good and meet the idea that once a criminal pays his price to society they are helped to get back on their feet but if they don’t pay their fines and fees all they have lost was a few months or years of their liberty and lets face it, if that was precious to them they wouldn’t be criminals. With work this bill could meet the Trump standard but it doesn’t in the current form.