Voices follows bills that can affect children and families as they work their way through the legislative process. Every week during legislative session, we publish the legislative update, which you’ll find below.
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As you read this, I am preparing to go into the mouth of the lion known as Crossover Day. If you were to picture me, lacing up my dress-up gym shoes, grabbing some extra socks, and tracking down my trash-can-sized bottle of ibuprofen, you would not be wrong. Like Sine Die (the last day of session), Crossover Day is one of those calendared events that usually requires an extra dose of stamina (with a side of fries). While hardly as dashing or as rugged as Indiana Jones, or as calm and cool as 007, I nevertheless consider myself a MacGyver-meets-Monty Python kind of advocate. Accompanied by my well-heeled and extremely trusty assistant, Thomas (an impressive “Batman’s Robin”, as it were), I will ascend the nearly vertical and ominous lot (ParkMobile 70303) towards the People’s House. In my rucksack, I carry a charging block, a paper clip, some tissues, and duct tape – though not together! – some earbuds, gum, a couple of coconut halves, a rubber band, a sharpie, and a banana (rife with comic opportunity!). You can never be too prepared for rowdy marauders, surprise amendments, or killer bunnies. Why, I’ve even started to carry handfuls of those little toothbrushes with the toothpaste built-in that my friend Jay turned me onto, just in case we encounter a herd of dental hygienists working a bill to fruition. But, most of all, I will come armed with a sense of humor and a quiver of hope that all the bills that are good for kids will “cross over” to the other chamber in time for the legislative sequel, Good Bills Can’t Die 2.
So, grab some popcorn (and a shrubbery), sit back in your (electric) Aston Martin, and enjoy the drive-in. The script is below (the bills) and the interactive part (the Action Alert) can be found here.
Galloping off into the fog –
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The 2 Minute Advocacy Ask: Raise the Age
Call members of the Georgia House of Representatives TODAY and ask them to vote YES on House Bill 462 (the “Raise the Age Act”) when it comes before them on the house floor TODAY (Monday).
HB 462 creates a multi-agency implementation committee to change the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to encompass non-violent 17-year-olds who are first-time offenders
- In juvenile court, more so than in adult court, a 17-year-old is much more likely to be mandated to attend school, make restitution to victims, and attend community-based rehabilitative programs that focus on the causes of the problem behavior.
- The vast majority of offenses committed by 17-year-olds are misdemeanors.
- Raising the age will improve youth outcomes, save taxpayer dollars, and make our state safer by solving problems in an effective way.
- Studies about brain development support the idea of keeping youth who commit offenses in juvenile court until at least age 17.
- The juvenile justice system does a better job than the adult system of holding young people accountable when they commit minor offenses.
- Current law shuts out parents of 17-year-olds. These children – and their parents – deserve the opportunity to navigate the court system as a family, with full parental rights intact.
- Georgia is one of the last three states (along with Texas and Wisconsin) that processes all 17-year-olds as adults in the criminal justice system.
- If HB 462 passes, serious offenders 13 and older will continue to be processed in adult court.
- Click Here for our Groovy Factsheet on RTA!
Dear Representative ______________,
Please vote YES on House Bill 462 when it comes before you MONDAY on the House floor. This bill creates a multi-agency implementation committee to explore changing the age of juvenile court jurisdiction to encompass non-violent 17-year-olds who are first-time offenders. The juvenile justice system does a better job than the adult system of holding young people accountable when they commit minor offenses by requiring youth to attend school, make restitution to victims, and attend community-based rehabilitative programs that focus on the causes of the problem behavior. The bill has a staggered roll out for the work of the committee and funding-reliant implementation. Please note that this bill does NOT affect serious young offenders, who will continue to be tried in adult court. Thank you for your service and for all you do for Georgia’s children.
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Tuesday’s starting Jan. 24: Talk Justice Tuesdays, CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
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