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PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lori Sitler/Janice Fitzsimons
Phone: (302) 577-8314
Pager: (302) 247-1132
Date: January 24, 2006
DANBERG ANNOUNCES HIS LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
- Click here to view agenda
(Wilmington, DE): Attorney General Carl C. Danberg today released his legislative agenda for the 2006 legislative session. The full agenda is attached to this release. In his comments about the agenda, Danberg highlighted several of his proposed pieces of legislation.
Improving the Department of Justice Danberg focused on his bill for public lawyer student loan forgiveness, saying, It is important to ensure that the State of Delaware attract highly competent lawyers to work in public service. This bill will apply to any lawyer who works for the State of Delaware including in the Department of Justice and Office of the Public Defender.
Also in this content area is a proposed law that defines the powers of the Attorney General. Danberg noted, During the recent transition, we discovered that there is no current provision for succession of authority in the event of an unexpected vacancy in the position of Attorney General. Such a provision is necessary to give the Governor time to make a considered decision on appointment.
Improving the Justice System Danberg commented that, for several years, we have worked with our criminal justice partners on sentencing reforms to ensure we are reserving our existing prison space for the most serious criminals. A high percentage of our prison space is still occupied by probation violators which means that we have more work to do. Our bill will provide the Courts with more effective community options and limit the use of prison beds in probation violation cases.
Also offered as an improvement to the justice system is a bill to convert all but the most serious motor vehicle infractions from criminal convictions to civil violations. Every year, tens of thousands of Delawareans are prosecuted as criminal defendants because of a traffic ticket. This process occupies significant time and resources in our Courts and needlessly stigmatizes otherwise law-abiding citizens, said Danberg.
Protecting the Public In commenting on his proposed bill to classify all motor vehicle thefts as a felony, Danberg said, many of our poorest citizens depend upon inexpensive motor vehicles for transportation. The worth of those vehicles to their owners greatly exceeds their value. This legislation will recognize that the impact of motor vehicle theft on its victims does not depend on the dollar value of the vehicle.
Danberg also proposes penalties for dumping of waste on real property. Law-abiding landowners frequently bear the financial burden in cleaning up illegally dumped trash and hazardous waste. Legislation will encourage those landowners to report dumping and cooperate in its clean-up by shifting the cost to those responsible.
Finally, Danberg highlighted his proposed new crime dealing with drugged drivers by saying, several of my legislative proposals are intended for the protection of our innocent children. I'm proud to announce the Kelly Lynn Clinton Act targeting criminals who operate motor vehicles while under the influence of illegal drugs. This legislation is being proposed to honor the memory of Kelly Lynn Clinton, an 18 year old young woman killed in Newark last year by a driver who had used cocaine.
Danberg noted that his legislative agenda is ambitious and said, I look forward to working with the Governor, Legislature, and community leaders in the coming months to implement this agenda.