The General Assembly Tuesday made small tweaks to legislation passed earlier this year before it takes effect in July.
Lawmakers and prosecutors discovered technical errors in the criminal code overhaul bill as the 2014 session drew to a close, which was too late to fix the mistakes before the legislature adjourned.
The General Assembly reconvened Tuesday – for less than an hour – to correct those mistakes.
The fixes include ensuring child molesters must serve at least 85 percent of their sentence and that police can arrest shoplifters even if the officer didn’t personally witness the theft. Rep. Greg Steuerwald, R-Danville, says the technical corrections maintain current policy.
“And these are also promises that date back all the way for the last four years that Representative Pierce and I have worked on and we’ve made these promises that these things would remain in effect,” he says.
Speaker Brian Bosma says he hopes use of the technical session is rare.
“But for the importance of some of the measures that will be in the bill before us today,” Bosma says. “It’s our intention that this does not become a routine part of the legislative process.”
Other technical changes enacted Tuesday deal with confusion regarding drug offenses; specifically, which drug amounts result in penalty enhancements.