Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s (D) fiscal 2024 proposed budget to defund the city’s commission that helped create the soft-on-crime criminal code revision, which the mayor initially vetoed and Congress blocked in a bipartisan effort.
Bowser’s proposed fiscal budget for the next year ends the city’s Criminal Code Reform Commission, which helped create the city’s criminal code revision legislation is being defunded after the intended purpose was fulfilled, according to the mayor. Even though the changes never came to fruition.
“The Criminal Code Commission had finished its work and made its recommendations to the council,” Bowser said during the unveiling of her proposal. When asked about the commission would be helping make a new criminal code, she said that remains “to be determined.”
“The council and the mayor are the policymakers of the city, and I believe the work remains among the 14 of us,” Bowser added. “I said that the work of the Criminal Code Reform Commission, in my view, is done.”
The city’s government established the Criminal Code Reform Commission as an independent agency in 2016 to help give legal and policy analysis on proposed legislation. Then, roughly five years after its inception, the commission ultimately developed recommendations to overhaul D.C.’s criminal code and worked on the Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022. The Washington Post noted that legislation passed in 2020 made the commission a permanent entity to “oversee implementation and future amendments to the new code and continue to issue recommendations relating to D.C. criminal law.”
This past year, despite the rampant crime, the district’s council voted on the Revised Criminal Code Act of 2022, which reduces punishments for a variety of serious criminal offenses and allows misdemeanor cases to be tried by a jury. The legislation passed through D.C.’s city council after they overrode Bowser’s veto.
But Congress can override local D.C. laws through a rarely used resolution of disapproval. A Republican-led disapproval resolution swiftly passed the House of Representatives and the Senate before making it to President Joe Biden’s desk. After alienating some lawmakers from his party, the president signed a resolution to overturn D.C.’s criminal code revision legislation.
Jinwoo Park, executive director of the Criminal Code Reform Commission, released a disappointing statement claiming that the news was “very shocking” after all of the work that had been done.
“This is all very shocking, and it’s hard for us because we here believe the importance of the work that we’re doing,” Park said. “I know we’re a tiny little agency, but I think our recommendations would go a long way to improving the system in the city.”
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.
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