Senate Adds Provisions on Juveniles to Crime Bill
The Senate last week added several youth-related provisions to its $22 billion crime bill, which was slated for passage this week.
S 1607 already contained safe-schools, gang-prevention, and juvenile-boot-camp provisions. (See Education Week, Nov. 3, 1993.)
Meanwhile, the House passed HR 1025, otherwise known as the Brady bill, which would provide for a five-day waiting period on the purchase of handguns, by a 238-to-189 vote.
The House has passed several separate pieces of crime legislation, including bills that would provide grants for school safety and gang prevention. Another House measure that would provide $200 million to develop alternative punishments for young offenders is still awaiting floor action.
It remains unclear how lawmakers will reconcile the House measures with the massive bill the Senate is considering, and with a separate safe-schools bill that has been passed by a Senate education panel and is pending in the House.
The safe-schools bill, which was proposed by the Clinton Administration, would provide grants through the Education Department. The crime-bill provisions are similar, but would put the program under the Justice Department.
Senate Floor Action
In floor action on the crime bill last week, the Senate:
- Unanimously adopted an amendment to ban handgun possession by minors except for hunting, target shooting, or other such purposes. The measure would also prevent the sale or transfer of handguns to minors.
- Approved an amendment that would make it a federal crime to belong to a gang or recruit gang members. Passed on a 60-to-38 vote, the amendment would authorize $100 million to hire more federal prosecutors to handle gang investigations and $100 million for counseling gang members and other such activities.
- Approved an amendment that would allow federal prosecutors to try juveniles ages 13 and older as adults if they used a gun in a robbery, assault, or murder. The vote was 64 to 23.
- Voted 94 to 4 to add more than $12 billion to the crime bill proposed by President Clinton, bringing its potential cost to $22 billion. The amendment would authorize $100 million for construction and operation of institutions for chronically violent young people.
- Rejected, on a 52-to-41 vote, a proposal to bar the death sentence for youths under 18.
- Added a provision that would create a National Commission on
Violence in America's Schools.