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MADISON - The Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Ethics favorably voted out 2007 Assembly Bill 499 today, with amendment, by a vote of 10-0. The bill, if enacted, would create a new felony offense for strangulation and suffocation.
"This is an important step towards passing legislation aimed at attacking domestic violence and one of its most dangerous manifestations," Van Hollen said. "I support the bill and today's amendment, which will eliminate any potential confusion as to the ability of prosecutors to charge an offender with the new strangulation and suffocation offense, if enacted into law."
The bill, authored by Representative Mark Gundrum and co-sponsored by a broad bipartisan coalition of legislators, will now go to the full Assembly for consideration at a date to be determined. A companion bill in the Senate, authored by Senator Lassa also with broad bipartisan co-sponsorship, has been introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Corrections.
Earlier today, Van Hollen delivered a letter to members of the Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Ethics supporting the bill, which is reprinted below.