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Proposed Legislation Overview

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Photo by Wyatt McKenzie

Los Santos, San Andreas – The legislative process is the cornerstone to creating the laws we are all governed by. As such, it is our responsibility as citizens to be active participants in that very process. Through these overviews, we hope to keep the citizens informed on the changes being proposed to our laws and criminal code.

The following is a list of the current drafted bills going through the 5th San Andreas Congress, as well as any commentary associated with the legislation made by public officials:

HR 187 Amendment to H.R. 142 for Requirements and Names is an amendment to HR 142 being proposed by Representative Audrey Storm. The original bill was meant to establish a memorial for those who have fallen in service to the state. This amendment serves to define the stipulations of how you would earn a spot here, as well as who has been approved to be honored at this site.

Below is a list of the members of the public that will be honored should this bill pass:

Cole Gordon – State Attorney, San Andreas Department of Justice,
Charlotte Avery – Associate Justice, San Andreas Supreme Court,
Dennis Boudreaux – Citizen of the State of San Andreas,
Tanner Atkinson – Prosecutor, Department of Justice,
Dan Daniels – State Trooper, San Andreas State Police,
Mac Moody – Chief of the Los Santos Police, Los Santos Police Department,

Weazel News spoke to the original author of the bill, Representative Ryyan Avery, and inquired whether he felt the changes aligned with the goals of his original bill. He told journalists he currently believes it does, as he had a part in the amendment of the bill alongside Corporal Rivera Finch of the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office (BSCO).

As of November 10th, 2022, this bill has passed the legislative floor and is awaiting to be signed into law.

HR 188 – Criminal Code Amendment – Section IV 4.i, Brandishing a Firearm is an amendment to the criminal code being proposed by Representative Audrey Storm to better define the brandishing of a firearm. It would allow motor vehicles with two-three wheels and no adequate storage to not be in violation while being operated. It is unclear if this means touring bikes with saddle bags big enough to house the shotgun would still require the shotgun to be stowed.

Weazel reached out to both Rep. Audrey Storm and Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) and was unable to receive their statements on the bill.

As of November 10th, 2022, this bill has passed the legislative floor and is awaiting to be signed into law.

HR 189 – Fuck Around Find Out Amendment is a bill proposed by Representative Ryyan Avery that adds the use of a deadly weapon as a reason to aggravate a charge. Previously the only stipulation for aggravating a charge was that the victim was an on-duty LEO or a government official.

In regards to the inspiration behind the legislation, Rep. Ryyan Avery said that various members of the Department of Justice (DOJ) stepped up prior to him formatting the bill to express concern for the vagueness of the charge and he stepped up to “fill in the gaps.”

“I added “or a deadly weapon was used” to extend the use of aggravated charges. Fear was what brought about the need for change, to my understanding. If you are a Government official you have a target on your back at all times, except for me, I’m the greatest.”

State Representative Ryyan Avery

Law Enforcement Officers could not be reached for comment.

As of November 10th, 2022, this bill has passed the legislative floor and is awaiting to be signed into law.

H.R. 190 – The Snitches Get Riches Act is a bill proposed by Representative Oliver Hall that seeks to set up a way of giving restitution to informants of crimes to Law Enforcement agents.

Under the Implementation portion of his bill, including this one, Rep. Oliver Hall commonly states the following: “If any part is declared invalid, unenforceable, or unconstitutional; that declaration shall have no effect on the parts that remain.” This practice has also been also shared by Representative Poole. According to Hall, the reasoning behind this addition to the bill was to showcase standard boilerplate language for legislation, similarly as would be done in contracts.

“It essentially means that when the court reviews the law if they find a portion to be unconstitutional, or for some other reason unenforceable – instead of the entire law being struck down, only the parts at issue are struck down.​”

State Representative Oliver Hall

In regards to Section 4.1, which grants the Legislation the authority to veto any award given under the bill, Rep. Oliver Hill said that there are many conceivable stipulations that could issue a veto.

“The main purpose of that section is to ensure there are not abuses of discretion. Offering obscene amounts of money without cause, instances of corruption, and issuing awards that do not meet the minimum criteria standardized in the bill – are all instances were funding may be refused by the Legislature.​”

State Representative Oliver Hall

To successfully veto an award a simple majority is needed; the same for passing other resolutions. Rep. Oliver Hill stated that the authority to veto the funding could later be given to the Governor, but that the mean reason the authority was given to the Legislature was due to the fact that the Legislature holds the role of the state’s treasury.

“Should issues arise, amendments can be offered. I do not foresee any conflict arising.​”

State Representative Oliver Hall

Law Enforcement Officers could not be reached for comment.

As of November 10th, 2022, this bill has passed the legislative floor and is awaiting to be signed into law.

H.R. 191 – The Health Patient Act of 2022 is a bill that repeals HR 017 and redefines the medical system within San Andreas, proposed by Representative Joana Poole.
Rep. Joana Poole and Law Enforcement Officers could not be reached for comment.

H.R. 192 – Department of Human Services Act of 2022 is a bill consolidating the two current bills defining DHS and inviting them into the Cabinet as their own department instead of a subdivision of the Hospital.

Rep. Joana Poole and Law Enforcement Officers could not be reached for comment.

H.R. 193 – The Involuntary Psychiatric Holds Act of 2022 is a bill to establish a process for placing someone on an Involuntary Hold due to mental illness or if they pose a danger to themselves. This repeals HR 018 and HR 129. Section 9.3 states that a person may not be executed if found unfit due to mental illness.

The main goal of the legislation is to consolidate and amend the two prior bills, as well as improve upon the previous versions.

Section 6.1.1.1 outlines a requirement of providing a written statement of evidence prior to a Law Enforcement Officer or doctor placing an involuntary hold on an individual. When asked whether or not the definition of what constitutes sufficient evidence up to the officer or doctor’s discretion or whether it is something you expect to be clearly outlined within the SOPs, Rep. Oliver Hall stated,

“The standard for what must be included in the statement is any evidence of the patient’s behavior and their reasoning for why they believe the patient is a danger to themselves or others by reason of mental illness. Ultimately what constitutes a sufficient will be determined by the courts.​”

State Representative Oliver Hall

Section 6.1.2.2 allows for a Judge, Magistrate, or Justice to affirm a psychiatric hold. The reason for affording them this authority, according to Rep. Oliver Hall, is due to the fact that judges have been included in authorizing involuntary psychiatric holds in previous legislation.

“Judges are meant to be impartial and have the knowledge of the law necessary to render a judgment on a patient’s legal state of mind – whether or not a hold is necessary. As far as emergency holds go; a Psychiatrist, the most capable and knowledgeable on mental health, should make the decision – and if not available the next best option is that of impartial judges.​”

State Representative Oliver Hall

We also reached out to Drake Paxton who was previously the Chief Justice and is currently the State Public Defender, to get his perspective. This is what he had to say.

“I myself in the current moment nor at any point during my time in the Judiciary would I be comfortable taking the place of a medical professional to determine the mental stability of an individual beyond obvious statements uttered by the individual. However, I am confident that the Judiciary will work together with the professionals in the Psychiatric Department to figure this out and come up with guidelines and procedures. In the end, I find it unlikely that the proper professionals could not be contacted in a reasonable amount of time to perform this evaluation.”

State Representative Drake Paxton

Section 6.1.2.3 of the bill states the requesting party may involuntarily commit the patient for 24 hours. On whether or not this was a power limited to Law Enforcement or Medical Doctors, or if any individual could qualify as a requesting party, Rep. Oliver Hill said “that only law enforcement officers and doctors can legally begin the process, meaning they are the only ones that can be ‘the requesting party’ in this case.​”

Section 6.7.1.1 gives the requesting party the right to appointed counsel regardless of their income or financial status. Appointed counsel could be private lawyers or the Public Defender’s Office (PDO). Asked whether or not PDO was prepared for any potential workload this may cause, State Public Defender Drake Paxton reassured that his department was more than ready.

“The Public Defender’s Office is more than prepared to take on this additional load. There are times where the Office is overwhelmed – such as having several clients at once in RPD, but we are not typically stretched thin and would be more than able to act as counsel for those that are needy.”

State Representative Drake Paxton

Section 8.2 waives the civil immunity from Law Enforcement Officers and Government Officials who do not act in good faith or go against procedures. According to Rep. Hall, it should be standard language.

“That section does not grant, but instead removes immunity from liability, (qualified immunity), for government officials that do not act in good faith.”

State Representative Oliver Hall

In short, Hall meant for Section 9.3 to prohibit the execution of defendants that suffer from mental illness. On the motivations behind Section 9.3 of the bill, Oliver Hall mentioned that all inspiration could come back to suggestions made by Matt Murdank.

Matt Murdank pushed for these suggestions due to the comments made by him earlier in the year.

“I am pleased to see San Andreas taking steps towards more ethical treatment of its citizens. Back in June, I said plainly that I believed it to be untenable for a society to end the lives of those who need treatment, not punishment. The events of the last few months overshadowed the important conversations we were having about mental health, but it is always the right time to stand up for what is right. Governor McKenzie supported initial rounds of legislation to establish an appellate process for those sentenced to death, but I believe we can and should do even more, and this ban on executions for those who need our help is an important move forward. I am thankful to Representative Hall for taking the steps to finally achieve what San Andreas deserves when it comes to justice for those who live with mental illness – progress.”

Matt Murdank

As of November 10th, 2022, this bill has passed the legislative floor and is awaiting to be signed into law.

The best way to ensure change is moving in the right direction is to get involved in the conversation. Stay up to date on proposed legislation with Weazel News.

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