Vote on Malloy’s Second Chance bills postponed until next legislative session in January

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HARTFORD–Lawmakers in Connecticut’s House of Representatives have postponed a vote on the governor’s proposal to overhaul the bail system and cut down on pre-trial detention for defendants charged with misdemeanors. It’s all part of his Second Chance Society initiatives.

The proposal from Gov. Dan Malloy, a Democrat, would have prohibited judges from setting cash bail for anyone charged with only a misdemeanor, with exceptions for dangerous people and some others. Judges would have the authority to order restrictions like GPS monitoring instead.

He said it would save the state $15 million a year, and that nearly 350 state prisoners wouldn’t be detained now if the legislation was in effect. In response, he used his power of line-item veto when signing the budget to eliminate $20 million in aid to cities and towns to make up for the funds he expected to save on his criminal justice reform bill.

A compromise was made earlier this week that was supposed to get the legislation to a vote. It was eliminated Malloy’s controversial plan to handle most offenders 20 years old or younger as juveniles.

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey says lawmakers did not feel comfortable voting on the bill Thursday and will leave it to the administration to determine next steps. Democrats said there is wide support for the concept behind the bill but they did not have all the details in advance.

The next time the Legislature convenes is in January.