A THSC representative testified yesterday at the hearing of HB 319, a bill by State Representative Richard Raymond, that will change the current statute that allows adults to be exempt from jury duty if serving on a jury would cause a child ten years of age or younger to be left alone. The Judiciary Committee hearing was to begin at 2PM, but we did not give testimony on the bill till almost 6:30PM.
Ms. Cassandra Phillips, THSC intern, went by Representative Raymond’s office earlier in the day to let him know that we would be giving testimony in favor of the bill, as we have many home school moms who must serve on juries even with several children at home over the age of ten but younger than 18. Representative Raymond’s staff said they were offering the bill because mothers who serve on jury duty may be subject to charges of abandonment or neglect for leaving their children under 14 alone while doing so. Phillips was the only person giving testimony on the bill, and there was no opposition to the measure. It was left pending in committee for future action. We will continue to monitor the bill and give updates or calls to action, if needed. To review the hearing online, go to the committee page and click on the hearing date of 3-23-09. HB 319 testimony begins at 3:35.