GOP fails to amend W.Va. prison bill - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

GOP fails to amend W.Va. prison bill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia House Republicans failed to change Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's prison reform bill despite offering four separate amendments.

All four amendments proposed by Minority Leader Tim Armstead Thursday were defeated by comfortable margins. None of the amendments even garnered the votes of every Republican.

The most contentious amendment would have removed the bill's provision giving judges the option to release non-violent offenders six months early into supervised programs.

Armstead said that that provision was only about saving money, not public safety. Armstead also had problems with how the bill defines non-violent offenses.

House Judiciary Chairman Tim Miley spoke against three of Armstead's four amendments.

Another amendment would have made technical changes that made it easier for judges to ignore the bill's graduated sentences for parole and probation violation.

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