The state senate thinks people who make youthful mistakes, even if they’re low-class felonies, should not pay a penalty for the rest of their lives.

The omnibus crime bill approved by the Senate partially throws out the law that bans convicted felons from holding public office—ever.

Some Senators argue that the commission of a minor felony, especially by a young person, should not mean a lifetime ban from public service years later when that person has become a responsible member of a community.

The Senate has adopted Senator Tim Green’s proposal saying a person convicted of a lesser felony—none one that is considered a "dangerous" crime—could run for and hold public office ten years later.

"Lifetime is a long time. Some people that commit minor things, but they are felonies, should not be penalized their entire life," he says.

The Senate sponsor of the bill wondered during debate how many members of the Senate would be serving in it if a policeman had been around when they pulled some of their youthful escapades.

The House still has to accept Green’s change before the Governor gets a chance to sign the bill into law.


Highlights of the debate are attached to this story. You will hear the voices of Senators LuAnn Ridgeway of Clay County, Matt Bartle of the 8th District, Gary Nodler of Jasper County, Rita Heard Days of the 14th District, Victor Callahan of the 11th, Tim Green of the 13th, and Bill Stouffer of Napton, who was presiding at the end.


Upload debate highlights (29:17 mp3)