Today the House took up HB 234: Juror Qualifications/Disabilities. This bill was hotly debated, similar to last years debate. Although this bill simply brings our state statute in line with federal law, it became increasingly clear that several members of the House did not feel that people who are deaf or hard of hearing should be jurors. The bill sponsors Representatives Rick Glazier, Sarah Stevens, and Ruth Samuelson presented excellent arguments to counter the points brought up by opposition, including that our current statute is illegal, that deaf people are currently serving as jurors and that the AOC requested this change. The bill received a vote of 94 in favor and 24 opposed. There was an objection to third reading. This bill will be back on the calendar for Monday.
In the Senate there was a vote taken on Senate Bill 248: Update Archaic Disability Terms. This bill was presented yesterday in Senate Health by its sponsor Senator Fletcher Hartsell. The bill comes out of the General Statutes Commission and updates existing statutes to People First Language. The bill had a single amendment presented by Senator Fletcher Hartsell to fix a additional term. The bill received unanimous support and will now go to the House.