Senate OKs bills on human trafficking, medical examiner training

Posted July 28, 2015
Updated July 29, 2015

— The state Senate cleared about a dozen more bills off its desks Tuesday as the chamber works to wrap up its work for the session and focus on hammering out a budget deal with the House.

Following are some of the bills that passed:

  • House Bill 134 would prohibit prosecution of minors arrested for soliciting as prostitutes. Rather, they would be put in protective custody, and authorities would launch an investigation into possible human trafficking.
  • House Bill 215 would establish the procedure for a criminal defendant to waive a jury trial. Voters last fall approved an amendment to the state constitution that would give most defendants the option of having their case heard by a judge instead of a jury.
  • House Bill 538 deals with the finances of water and sewer authorities, but an amendment by Sen. Tommy Tucker, R-Union, would require wastewater systems to accept the condensate from high-efficiency furnaces, which have had problems with drain lines freezing in the winter.
  • House Bill 556, known as the ABLE Act, mirrors a federal law that allows families to set up special savings accounts to pay for the needs of members with disabilities.
  • House Bill 814 would make minor changes to the state medical examiner system, requiring at least two examiners per county and adding training in Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy to their continuing education.

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