Tennessee Senate approves increases in penalties for domestic assault

Tennessee Senate approves increases in penalties for domestic assault

April 25th, 2012 by Andy Sher in Local - Breaking News

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - State senators took final action today on Gov. Bill Haslam's proposed increases in penalties for repeat offenders of domestic assault.

The bill, part of Haslam's anti-crime package, was approved on a 33-0 vote and is now headed to the governor for his signature. It passed the House last week on a 97-1 vote.

The legislation boosts jail time and fines on second and subsequent convictions for domestic assault, imposing a mandatory 30-day minimum sentence for second offenders in domestic assault cases and mandatory 90-day minimums for third and subsequent convictions.

The bill originally was estimated to cost local jails about $8 million annually, which caused local governments and their supporters to protest about "unfunded mandates."

But the legislation was amended to decrease jail time.

Haslam also agreed to increase daily reimbursements to local jails for housing state felons from $35 per prisoner to $37, which will cost another $4 million statewide.

Haslam has also provided about $600,000 to help local jails with the expected increase in the number of domestic offenders.