State Senate waiting on House to release plans for criminal justice reform bill

Lawmakers have until next Thursday to file amendments to the bill

BOSTON (WWLP) – The State Senate recently approved a bill to change the state’s criminal justice policies, but the House has yet to release their plan for reforms.

The recently approved Senate bill calls for dozens of changes to the system, including provisions that would raise the age for juvenile justice, erase certain criminal records and repeal mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses.

The House has not released their own criminal justice proposal but, according to Holyoke State Representative Aaron Vega, the House may take a two bill approach to reform, including one larger package proposing a wide range of policy changes.

“Mandatory minimums, re-entry programs, diversion programs,” Rep. Vega said. “Obviously, I think some of the big issues will be dealt with. And there’s going to be a good, robust debate in two weeks about what we’re going to put forward from the House to conference with the Senate to have real reforms come out in the next year.”

Lawmakers have until next Thursday to file amendments to the bill.

They’ll likely debate the proposal before mid-November.