House makes amendments to two admin bills
Prior to the official close last Thursday of the 2nd Regular Session of the 33rd Legislature, the House gave its final approval to two administration bills after making amendments to further clarify language on both measures.
One bill seeks to further criminalize child abuse and amendments by the House further clarify what is considered “a dangerous instrument” that is used to threatened a child. The amendment states that a dangerous instrument, is any instrument, article, or substance, which under the circumstance in which it is used, is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury.
The second amendment deleted the words “mentally retarded” from the bill and replaced it with a “person whose mental capacity has been determined by a health professional to be that of someone under the age of 18.”
House members were disturbed with using the term “mentally retarded” in the bill and believe it was not appropriate to be used.
The second administration bill approved by the House further criminalizes human trafficking. The House provided additional words and the meaning to reflect what’s mentioned in the bill’s language.
For example, the House explained what is considered, “unlawful deprivation or violation of the personal liberty of another” which includes restriction of another’s liberty accomplished through fraud, deceit, coercion, violence, menace or threat of unlawful injury to the victim or to another person.
The House versions of the two bills were introduced in the Senate last week and referred to the appropriate committee for review. The Senate version of the bills were approved - without any amendments - two weeks ago and sent to the House for review.
The two bills will be taken up when lawmakers returne in January for the 3rd Regular Session of the 33rd Legislature. Lawmakers are currently in a special session called by the governor and these two issues are not included in the special session call.
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