Legislative Updates - Presumptive Parole and Felony Firearm Reform

A bill that would create a presumption of parole (HB 4138) and a bill that would eliminate the 2-year mandatory minimum sentence for a felony firearm conviction (HB 4419), were introduced in the House on June 16, 2015. The House Criminal Justice Committee voted 8-1 to report a bill to the House Floor that establishes a statutory presumption of parole under certain circumstances.

HB 4138 – Presumptive Parole

Here is what the bill does:

  • States that parole upon service of the minimum sentence is presumed for people who score high probability of release on parole guidelines.
  • Defines the specific "substantial and compelling reasons" that permit departing from the presumption.
  • Increases the frequency of reviews for people with both high and average probability scores who were denied parole.
  • Requires detailed annual reports about parole denials.
  • Would save up to 3,200 prison beds and $75 million within five years of enactment.

HB 4419 –Felony Firearm Penalty Reform

Here is what the bill does:

  • Eliminates the mandatory 2-year consecutive sentence for a felony firearm offense.
  • Increases the maximum sentence to three years and gives judges the discretion to select a minimum within the sentencing guidelines.
  • Gives judges discretion to make the sentence consecutive or concurrent with the sentence for the underlying felony. 

Read the Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending (CAPPS) analysis of HB 4138 and HB 4419, including the stunning financial and policy implications.