The House Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee passed legislation this morning that would increase the value of some property crimes before they could be prosecuted as felonies. The measure is part of a package of bills Governor Mary Fallin proposed.
Under the legislation by State Representative Pam Peterson, the threshold for property theft crimes would be raised to $1,000 for a felony.
The limit is currently $500, a benchmark that’s been in place since 2002. Fallin expressed support for the bill in her State of the State speech, which opened the 20-16 Oklahoma Legislature last week.
During the Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee meeting, Peterson said a lot of work went into drafting the legislation.
“The conservative increase to $1000 came about after months of thoughtful consideration by the governor’s sentencing subcommittee composed of DA’s, assistant DA’s, judges, public defenders, professionals, basically, who work in the court room and the criminal justice system on a daily basis,” Peterson said.
Fallin has also called for lowering Oklahoma’s mandatory drug possession sentences and reducing some drug crimes to misdemeanors. The bill now goes to the full House.
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