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Minutes for SB41 - Committee on Judiciary

Short Title

Creating the crimes of assault of a public transportation employee and battery against a public transportation employee.

Minutes Content for Wed, Feb 1, 2017

Jason Thompson briefed the committee on SB 41, saying the bill creates the crimes of assault of a public transportation employee and battery against a public transportation employee. He went on to say that it will enhance the penalties when an assault or battery is committed against a public transportation employee.

Proponents:

Tuck Duncan began his testimony (Attachment 4) in support of SB 41 by sharing a few articles about public transit drivers that were assaulted. He went on to say that increasing the penalty would deter assault on their employees. When asked if he had a problem adding a certain distance requirement, he indicated he did not have a problem with that.

After a question and answer period that addressed issues such as, clarifying definitions of public employees, and heightening penalties, Chairperson Lynn moved onto the next proponent.

Paul Snider shared his support for SB 41 (Attachment 5). He explained that it was important to provide a balance of increasing penalties to match the surrounding states, while preparing for the future of public transportation.  Mr. Snider provided a handout (Attachment 6) that gave information on major projects and amount of ridership, among other facts. He then stood for questions.

A brief question and answer period took place that addressed subjects such as: security, shielding drivers, and keeping those convicted off the buses.   Chairperson Lynn then moved on to the next item on the agenda.

Susan Duffy presented testimony (Attachment 7) in support of SB 41, stating that the transit industry is dangerous work.  She continued saying that there are days when individuals are extremely disruptive and sometimes violent, and that makes this bill necessary. Chairperson Lynn asked for questions; and, seeing none moved on to the next proponent.

Amanda Stanley shared her support for the bill (Attachment 8), saying that it could help the safety of employees and referred to her provided testimony.

Chairperson Lynn pointed out the written testimony in support of SB 41, provided by Joshua Powers (Attachment 9).

Neutral:

Chairperson Lynn also noted the neutral, written, testimony supplied by Jessica Glendening (Attachment 10); and seeing no questions, Chairperson Lynn closed the hearing on the bill and adjourned the meeting at 11:45am.