Daily Archives: May 15, 2007

US House passes loan repayment bill

Excellent news from Washington today. The House of Representatives passed a bill that would provide for loan repayment for public defenders and prosecutors.

The bill, estimated to cost some $25 million a year, passed 341-73. A similar measure has been introduced in the Senate. House sponsor David Scott, D-Ga., said the bill would help counter high turnover in public defender and prosecutor offices across the country.

The bill would provide loan repayments of up to $10,000 per year – up to a cap of $60,000 – for law school graduates who work as criminal prosecutors or public defenders instead of taking what are often more lucrative jobs at private firms. The measure, which would expire in 2013 unless reauthorized, has backing from the American Bar Association and other legal groups.

Absolutely fantastic. C’mon Senate. Pass this bill!

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It’s a mad, mad, M.A.D.D. world!

Remember when, a few months ago, M.A.D.D. was at the state Capitol, drinking it up with state troopers to illustrate the dangers of drunk driving and pushing for stronger penalties? Amy D’Aniello was there, supporting M.A.D.D., taking breathalyzer tests, puffing into car ignition locks.

Guess where she was last night at 2:30am? Going 75 in a 45. Anyone want to guess what happened next?

Yep. DUI.

Note how M.A.D.D. immediately implements the “drinking problem” excuse:

“Our wish is that she seek some sort of rehabilitation, if she has a drinking problem” and the she obey the letter of the law, Margolis said.

Under a typical drunk driving arrest, D’Aniello would lose her driver’s license for 90 days, would have to attend pretrial alcohol education classes, complete a year of probation and attend a MADD impact panel, Margolis said.

The Courant news story doesn’t reveal what her BA level was; only that it was above .08.

I understand the driving force behind M.A.D.D. and at some level, I agree. People do need to be careful and not drive drunk. However, it is very easy to be over the legal limit, as Ms. D’Aniello probably discovered yesterday.

Maybe this gets them to rethink their hard-line stance for strict penalties just a little bit. Everything in moderation, be it drinking or sentences.

(with apologies to Stanley Kramer)