Michigan Reentry Law Wiki

Second Chance Act Stalls

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Hill Update: Effort to Pass the Second Chance Act Stalls in the Senate

In a final attempt to pass the Second Chance Act (S. 1934/H.R. 1704) before the end of the 109th Congress, Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA), Joe Biden (D-DE) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) tried to fast track the bill for passage. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), however, stalled that process by putting a hold on the bill.

Key staff redrafted some of the language to reach a compromise with Senator Coburn, but all efforts at negotiations failed. Senator Coburn's hold on the bill prevents the legislation from being considered on the floor and will ultimately halt any further movement during the 109th Congress.

Over the past few months the cosponsors of the Second Chance Act and other supporters of the legislation have worked with Senator Coburn to address his concerns. He objects to the bill on grounds that there is no federal role in prisoner re-entry and contends that states - including Oklahoma - have the resources to reduce recidivism and improve re-entry without federal support. Senator Coburn was the only Senator that requested a hold on the bill.

Bill sponsors plan to reintroduce the measure in the 110th Congress and will continue to reach out to Senator Coburn and his staff to reach a compromise on the measure.

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