Eye on Legislation

Here are five bills that are currently pending in their respective state houses. If you see your state, follow the links to find out more.

New York
Bill Name: “Raise the Age” (unofficial name)
Bill Number: A04876 or S04157
Introduced by: Lentol (Assembly) or Montgomery (Senate)
Subject: Raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18 (currently 16 and 17 year olds are tried as adults)
Thumbs: Up 

Bill Name: Student discipline; long-term suspension
Bill Number: HB 1534
Introduced by: Bell
Subject: Reduces the maximum length of a long-term suspension from 364 calendar days to 90 school days. The bill prohibits a long-term suspension from extending beyond any 45 school day period unless the school principal or division superintendent finds that aggravating circumstances exist, as defined by the local school board. The bill requires the length of any long-term suspension that extends beyond any 45 school day period shall be reviewed at the end of each such period.
Thumbs: Up 

Bill Name: AN ACT relating to corporal physical discipline
Bill Number: HB 393
Introduced by: Wayne and Marzian
Subject: Establishes that a person employed by a school district shall not use corporal physical discipline; removes corporal punishment as a form of discipline in a school; establishes that church-related privately operated child-caring agencies or facilities shall not use corporal physical discipline; establishes that physical force may not be used against a minor.
Thumbs: Up 

Bill Name: n/a
Bill Number: HB 1152
Introduced by: Taylor
Subject: School discipline. Provides that an evidence based plan for improving student behavior and discipline in a school corporation: (1) may not contain any zero tolerance requirements; (2) must reduce disproportionality in discipline or inappropriately high rates of in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, and expulsion; and (3) must limit referrals to law enforcement or arrests on school property to those necessary to protect the health and safety of other students or school employees. Adds a definition of "exclusion". Adds a definition of "positive discipline". Provides that a school's discipline policy must include a graduated system of discipline and incorporate positive discipline principles and establish clear limits for referring students to law enforcement officials only in cases necessary to protect the safety of other students or school employees. Makes various changes to provisions relating to school discipline to reduce student exclusion from school. Repeals a provision that provides that a principal may require a student at least 16 years of age who wishes to reenroll in school after an expulsion to attend certain alternative educational programs.
Thumbs: Up 

Bill Name: n/a
Bill Number: HB 274
Introduced by: Schroer
Subject: Requires children under the age of 18 to be prosecuted for most criminal offenses in juvenile courts unless the child is certified as an adult.
Thumbs: Up