Eastern Wayne Today

Eastern Wayne Today

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Senate bills enforcing harsher child-abuse penalties pass Legislature, waiting to be signed by Whitmer

Politics

By Tamara Gabbard | Mar 2, 2020

Legislation
Two Senate bills, which will raise penalties for repeat child abuse offenders, have passed Legislation and are waiting to be signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Two Senate bills that will raise penalties for repeat child abuse offenders have passed the Legislature and are waiting to be signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“There should be zero tolerance for criminals who prey upon and abuse children,” Sen. Peter J. Lucido, R- Shelby Township, said in a Feb 20 press release. 

Lucido sponsored Senate Bills 29 and 30, which will enforce harsher penalties for repeat offenders who commit second, third- or fourth-degree child abuse. 

“We must hold these people accountable for the pain and mental anguish that they inflict, and this legislation will make sure that repeat offenders receive harsher punishment for their crimes,” Lucido said.

These bills went under intense analyzation, and although SB 29 could negatively impact the fiscal year due to more felony arrests, it would expand laws in Michigan that lack safeguards for children from the lifelong negative implications of repeat child abuse and show child abuse will not be tolerated in the state of Michigan, an analysis of the bills states. 

The new legislation would allow a judge more discretion over sentencing habitual child abusers. Second-degree offenders with any prior child abuse convictions in any state that coincides with Michigan state law could face up to 20 years in prison. 

Third-degree offenders with any prior convictions in any state could face up to five years, and fourth-degree offenders with any prior convictions could face two years in prison. 

All previously convicted child-abusers will face felony charges. More felony convictions put more stress on court systems and state government for probation supervision, which cost the state $3,024 per year per probationer. More felony convictions also require the state government to pay $3,764 per year per prisoner, the analysis said.

"Gov. Whitmer, as of Friday, did not sign Senate bills 29 and 30,” Lucido told Eastern Wayne Today. “As you know, these bills ensure that those individuals who continue and repeatedly abuse children will be duly punished accordingly.”

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Michigan House of RepresentativesMichigan State Senate

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