Bill Text: IA HF128 | 2017-2018 | 87th General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: A bill for an act establishing a criminal sentencing commission.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2017-01-26 - Introduced, referred to Judiciary. H.J. 129. [HF128 Detail]

Download: Iowa-2017-HF128-Introduced.html

House File 128 - Introduced




                                 HOUSE FILE       
                                 BY  MILLER

                                      A BILL FOR

  1 An Act establishing a criminal sentencing commission.
  2 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
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PAG LIN



  1  1    Section 1.  Section 216A.131, Code 2017, is amended by adding
  1  2 the following new subsection:
  1  3    NEW SUBSECTION.  2A.  "Commission" means the criminal
  1  4 sentencing commission.
  1  5    Sec. 2.  Section 216A.133A, subsection 2, Code 2017, is
  1  6 amended by striking the subsection.
  1  7    Sec. 3.  Section 216A.133A, subsection 3, paragraph a,
  1  8 subparagraphs (6) and (7), Code 2017, are amended by striking
  1  9 the subparagraphs.
  1 10    Sec. 4.  NEW SECTION.  216A.140A  Criminal sentencing
  1 11 commission.
  1 12    1.  a.  A criminal sentencing commission is established
  1 13 within the division.  The commission shall consist of the
  1 14 following nine voting members:
  1 15    (1)  The chief justice of the supreme court or the chief
  1 16 justice's designee.
  1 17    (2)  One judge of the court of appeals appointed by the chief
  1 18 judge of the court of appeals.
  1 19    (3)  One district judge appointed by the judicial council.
  1 20    (4)  One county attorney appointed by the governor upon
  1 21 recommendation by the Iowa county attorneys association.
  1 22    (5)  One public defender appointed by the governor upon the
  1 23 recommendation by the state public defender.
  1 24    (6)  One probation or parole officer appointed by the
  1 25 governor.
  1 26    (7)  Three members of the public appointed by the governor,
  1 27 one of whom shall be a victim of a crime classified as a felony.
  1 28    b.  The commission shall include two members of the general
  1 29 assembly who shall serve as ex officio, nonvoting members.  The
  1 30 legislative members shall be appointed as follows:
  1 31    (1)  One member of the senate appointed by the majority
  1 32 leader of the senate.
  1 33    (2)  One member of the house of representatives appointed by
  1 34 the speaker of the house of representatives.
  1 35    2.  Notwithstanding section 7E.6, nonlegislative members
  2  1 shall only receive reimbursement for actual expenses for
  2  2 performance of their official duties as members of the
  2  3 commission.  Members of the general assembly shall not receive
  2  4 a per diem but shall receive reimbursement for necessary travel
  2  5 and actual expenses incurred in the performance of their
  2  6 official duties.
  2  7    3.  a.  The initial term of a member appointed by the
  2  8 governor pursuant to subsection 1, paragraph "a", subparagraphs
  2  9 (4), (5), and (6), shall be four years, and after the initial
  2 10 term has been served, the appointment shall be for a term of
  2 11 four years.
  2 12    b.  The  initial term of a member appointed by the governor
  2 13 pursuant to subsection 1, paragraph "a", subparagraph (7),
  2 14 shall be two years, and after the initial term has been served,
  2 15 the appointment shall be for a term of four years.
  2 16    4.  One nonlegislative member shall be designated by the
  2 17 governor as the chairperson.
  2 18    5.  The commission may act or make recommendations only
  2 19 upon a vote of a majority of the voting membership of the
  2 20 commission.
  2 21    6.  a.  The commission shall be charged with developing,
  2 22 implementing, and administering felony sentencing guidelines
  2 23 for use by the courts throughout the state.
  2 24    b.  The sentencing guidelines shall be discretionary but
  2 25 shall provide a judge with a range of recommended sentencing
  2 26 options.
  2 27    7.  The commission shall develop and conduct sentencing
  2 28 guideline education seminars and prepare research related but
  2 29 not limited to the following:
  2 30    a.  Risk assessments.
  2 31    b.  Recidivism.
  2 32    c.  Probation and parole violations.
  2 33    8.  The commission shall review the costs associated with
  2 34 the implementation of new or amended criminal code provisions,
  2 35 including costs to the judicial branch, department of
  3  1 corrections, and judicial district departments of correctional
  3  2 services, costs for representing indigent defendants, and costs
  3  3 incurred by political subdivisions of the state.
  3  4    9.  The commission may call upon any department, agency, or
  3  5 office of the state, or any political subdivision of the state,
  3  6 for information or assistance as needed in the performance of
  3  7 its duties. The information or assistance shall be furnished
  3  8 to the extent that it is within the resources and authority
  3  9 of the department, agency, office, or political subdivision.
  3 10 This section does not require the production or opening of
  3 11 any records which are required by law to be kept private or
  3 12 confidential.
  3 13                           EXPLANATION
  3 14 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
  3 15 the explanation's substance by the members of the general assembly.
  3 16    This bill establishes a criminal sentencing commission.
  3 17    The membership of the criminal sentencing commission shall
  3 18 consist of the following nine voting members: the chief
  3 19 justice of the supreme court or the chief justice's designee;
  3 20 one judge of the court of appeals appointed by the chief
  3 21 judge of the court of appeals; one district judge appointed
  3 22 by the judicial council; one county attorney appointed by the
  3 23 governor upon recommendation by the Iowa county attorneys
  3 24 association; one public defender appointed by the governor upon
  3 25 recommendation by the state public defender; one probation or
  3 26 parole officer appointed by the governor; and three members
  3 27 of the public appointed by the governor, one of whom shall be
  3 28 a victim of a crime classified as a felony.  The commission
  3 29 shall include two members of the general assembly who shall
  3 30 serve as ex officio, nonvoting members, and who shall be
  3 31 appointed as follows: one member of the senate appointed by
  3 32 the majority leader of the senate, and one member of the house
  3 33 of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house of
  3 34 representatives.  The bill provides that the initial term of
  3 35 members appointed by the governor shall be staggered, and after
  4  1 the initial term has been served, the appointment shall be for
  4  2 a term of four years.
  4  3    The bill provides that nonlegislative members shall only
  4  4 receive reimbursement for actual expenses for performance
  4  5 of their official duties as members of the commission.
  4  6 Legislative members shall not receive a per diem under the
  4  7 bill, but legislative members shall receive reimbursement
  4  8 for necessary travel and actual expenses incurred in the
  4  9 performance of their official duties.
  4 10    The bill specifies that a nonlegislative member of
  4 11 the commission shall be designated by the governor as the
  4 12 chairperson.
  4 13    The bill provides that the commission shall be charged with
  4 14 developing, implementing, and administering felony sentencing
  4 15 guidelines for use by the courts throughout the state.  The
  4 16 sentencing guidelines shall be discretionary but shall provide
  4 17 a judge with a range of recommended sentencing options.
  4 18    The bill requires the commission to develop and conduct
  4 19 sentencing guideline education seminars and prepare research
  4 20 related to but not limited to the following: risk assessments,
  4 21 recidivism, and probate and parole violations.
  4 22    The bill requires the commission to review the costs
  4 23 associated with the implementation of new or amended criminal
  4 24 code provisions, including costs to the judicial branch,
  4 25 department of corrections, and judicial district departments
  4 26 of correctional services, costs for representing indigent
  4 27 defendants, and costs incurred by political subdivisions of the
  4 28 state.
  4 29    The bill transfers duties relating to the study of
  4 30 recidivism and the review of costs associated with the
  4 31 implementation of criminal code provisions from the public
  4 32 safety advisory board established in Code section 216A.133 to
  4 33 the commission.
  4 34    The bill also permits the commission to call upon any
  4 35 department, agency, or office of the state, or any political
  5  1 subdivision of the state for assistance in the performance of
  5  2 any of the duties of the commission.
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