From Mark Newgent: Advocates accuse Senators Frosh and Madaleno of “playing games” with Jessica’s Law enhancement

Two Democratic state senators are trying to derail an enhancement to Jessica’s Law according to a source in the state legislature. The source claims the chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery County), requested Senator Richard Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) lay over SB 622, which calls for 20-year nonparoleable mandatory minimum sentences for second degree rape or molestation of a child.

“Frosh wants to mess with the bill,” the source said. The source also said that Frosh did not designate the bill’s sponsor, Nancy Jacobs (R-Harford County), as floor leader for the legislation, “which is very outside the norm.”

A lay over motion “postpones consideration of a bill or joint resolution with pending amendments for one day or one hour.”

Phone calls and emails to Frosh and Madaleno’s offices were not returned.

Joan Harris, President of Citizens for Jessica’s Law wrote in an email to supporters “They are up to something to try to water down or kill this bill…they are playing games with the safety of our children.”

The full Senate is expected to take up the bill again this morning.

If the Senate approves the bill it must still go to a House-Senate conference committee unless the House Judiciary Committee accepts the Senate’s version of the bill. The House of Delegates approved a version of the bill with 15-year nonparoleable mandatory minimum sentences for second degree rape or molestation of a child.

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee unanimously approved the measure (see committee vote here) after anger from citizen advocates forced Frosh to call a vote after his initial opposition.


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