But the time is winding down. As I have gone over, there are two bills to be voted on. The Senate has their version by Jabour, and the House has their version by Gianinni. They are very different bills.
The Senate bill does not call for prison time for the woman. The House bill calls for 6 months for the first offense.
That is the big difference of the bill. I am not for either bill. I do think that it is better to not have prison time, so I will have to admit that the Senate bill is the lesser of two evils.
Today is supposed to be the last day of the legislation session, so really if a law on prostitution would pass, it would more likely than not pass today. When a bill to become law, it has to be passed in both the house and the senate with the exact same language and then be signed by the Governor. Today, the Attorney General and the State Police both came out against Senator Jabour’s bill. (See the Projo Article) Here is an excerpt from the article:
“Rhode Island State Police cannot support civil sanctions for such reprehensible acts,” State Police Superintendent Col. Brendan P. Doherty wrote in a letter Friday to Rep. Donald J. Lally Jr., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, where the bill awaits a hearing. “By reducing the seriousness of the enforcement of these acts,” Col. Doherty continued, “we will actually be placing the women this bill intends to protect in a dangerous environment where they will be further targeted for exploitation.”….
…In addition, Healy said, allowing for a penalty for a first offense is treating prostitutes as though they were getting a “speeding ticket.”
The house now has a reason to not vote on the Senate bill, and the Senate has their reason not to vote on the House bill. I have been watching the House session for the last 6 hours, and the House is fighting within itself. You should have seen the fight on the floor over a bill to allow for a New York Yankee’s charity license plate. If the house is fighting each other over such small things like license plates, I don’t think they have the time to hash out the differences they have with the Senate over something as important sending women to prison. The clock is ticking away, we will see what happens.