A number of new bills are now pending in the legislature that could affect issues ranging from panhandling, to interacting with police officers, and more. Here are some of the latest proposed changes in the criminal justice system:
- Filming/viewing police activity. Last year a new Arizona law that would have restricted the circumstances in which the public and journalists could lawfully film the police, was blocked by U.S. District Judge John J. Tuchi. Judge Tuchi issued a preliminary injunction halting enforcement of the law at the request of the ACLU and others. We previously commented on the case in our blog. The Arizona Attorney General’s office indicated that it had no interest in defending the law. Since then, SB 1047, a new bill, has been proposed, which prohibits anyone getting closer than 20 feet for a “dangerous incident” if an officer told that person to stay away. We’ll see if this new proposed law runs into the same Constitutional problems as the earlier law.
- Panhandling. SB 1022 would prohibit panhandling while standing on a traffic median. That bill has since been amended to specify that it would apply to traffic islands and medians less than 10 feet wide. The amendment, some say, was added to attempt to avoid Constitutional issues
- Priests Required to Report Confessions. Current law only requires clergy to report a confession of abuse if the clergy member determines that it is reasonable, necessary, and within the “concepts of the religion.” HB 2454 would require reporting by clergy if the clergy believes the abuse is ongoing or will occur in the future.
- Compensation for Sexual Assault Victims. HB 2500 would have the current victim compensation fund include compensation for women who become pregnant due to a sexual assault, including health care for up to a year after the child is born.
Some of these proposals are sure to have strong proponents and opponents. We’ll see how the bills fare as they make their way through the Arizona legislature.
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