Legislature: Triumphs Looking for Help|
Stop Passing the Buck (or lack there of) for Human Services
Juvenile Justice Update
Peter's Principles (Peter Herman)
Convention '85 Elections: Not Such a Trivial Pursuit
Program: New Election Laws Study Proposed
Anorexic Budget Shows Need for Future Calories
Proposed Slate of Officers/Directors 1985-87
Legislature: Triumphs Looking for Help
Legislative lobbying is a vital activity of the League of Women Voters State Board. Each year, the State Board Legislative Committee ( this year chaired by Marion Saunders) puts a concerted effort into lobbying for, tracking and testifying on a variety of issues relating to League positions. Much of the respect that the Legislature accords the LWV is a result of the time and effort put into the development and presentation of well thought out and relevant testimony.
An important example of the League's efforts in the legislative arena is its recent testimony against a bill which would reduce the age at which a youth could be referred to adult court to 14 years . The LWV had repeatedly testified in past years against such an age reduction and this year's testimony given by Chair Saunders was no less adamant against such a bill.
Saunders told members of the House Committee on Human Services that passage of the bill would have "no positive results. A youth at age 14 is not an adult, physically, mentally or psychologically. Although they may have been engaged in criminal activities beyond their chronological years, they do not have the developmental or experiential resources an adult would have to make judgments and to assess situations."
Citing that the adult rehabilitation system is being sued for "inhumane treatment of the adults under its jurisdiction," Saunders questioned whether youths should be sent to such a system for rehabilitative services. She testified, "Youthful offenders by definition are in need of education, vocational and counseling services. They need to develop social skills to understand and participate in society. Years of inactivity and victimization by fellow inmates are no answer to their problem. The Youth Correctional Facility, with all its shortcomings, has much more to offer youths than the adult system."
The League also testified this session on Initiative, Campaign Spending, Comparable Worth and funding for Coastal Zone Management.
The State Board Legislative Committee is looking for "a few good women" (to steal a phrase) to organize and help with the next legislative session. Says Saunders, "Preparing and following the legislature is a time consuming and difficult job which has many rewards for League members individually and as a whole. Often this area is not adequately followed due to a lack of person power and the short, intense nature of the Legislature."
"If we start early, we should be able to adequately cover the next legislative session." Members interested in working on the next session should contact the League Office at 531-7448 and leave their names.
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