Making Good Bills Better and Sending Bad Bills Back to Committee
This week, Delegate Deb Rey took the opportunity to make a good bill even better. House Bill 96 - Income Tax – Subtraction Modification – Living Organ Donors came to the floor this week. This bill provides a $7,500 tax credit for living donors to help defray their costs of donating all or part of an organ. The bill was introduced by House Speaker Michael Busch who received a live-donor transplant last year.
As drafted the bill only allowed for an individual to take the tax credit once. Delegate Rey offered an amendment on the floor that eliminated this limitation. The bill unanimously passed the House and is expected to pass in the Senate.
To learn more about organ donation, or to register as an organ donor, click here
Delegate Bill Folden's effort to make a bad bill better ultimately led to the bill being sent back to committee. House Bill 122 - Criminal Procedure - Sentencing Guidelines - Previously Adjudicated Delinquent, would have softened the sentencing guidelines for young adults who commit crimes. Under the bill, criminals between the ages of 18 and 21 who had a history of juvenile offenses could not have their juvenile crimes considered at the time of their sentencing. This is very concerning because in the interest of public safety, prior criminal history should be considered during sentencing.
Last week, Delegate Bill Folden successfully amended the legislation, requiring juvenile criminal history be considered if the offender was imprisoned as a juvenile. The debate sparked by Delegate Folden's amendment led to more questions and further debate on the bill and slowed the bill's progression as opposition to the bill grew. On Thursday, the bill was sent back to Committee - an action that is rarely taken - and is in all likelihood dead for the year.