Bipartisan Support for Justice Reinvestment Legislation

Wide majorities in most states approved sentencing and corrections reforms

Bipartisan Support for Justice Reinvestment Legislation

Since 2007, 34 states have adopted legislation, developed through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, to improve their sentencing and corrections policies. These laws, listed below, passed with strong bipartisan support, including many unanimous votes, demonstrating that elected officials across the nation back broad research-based changes that control prison growth, hold offenders accountable, and protect public safety. The reforms prioritize the use of prison for serious and violent offenses while expanding alternatives to imprisonment for those who can be supervised more effectively and at less expense in the community. Below is a state-by-state breakdown of legislative support for these measures over the past decade. Some states have undertaken reforms in multiple years and, as a result, have more than one listing.

The Justice Reinvestment Initiative is a public-private partnership that provides intensive technical assistance to states and includes the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, the Crime and Justice Institute, and other organizations. Other states have adopted criminal justice reforms through other means and are not included here.

State

Vote year

Bill number

Governor (party)

Senate vote

House vote

Arkansas

2017

S.B. 136

Asa Hutchinson (R)

27-4

86-1

2011

S. 750

Mike Beebe (D)

Unanimous  (35-0)

79-14

Georgia

2017

S.B. 174

Nathan Deal (R)

Unanimous (50-0)

Unanimous (156-0)

2012

H.B. 1176

Nathan Deal (R)

Unanimous (51-0)

Unanimous (162-0)

Louisiana

2017

S.B. 139

John Bel Edwards (D)

20-13

75-30

S.B. 220

26-9

88-17

S.B. 221

23-11

83-17

H.B. 249

22-9

65-27

H.B. 489

Unanimous (29-0)

Unanimous (97-0)

S.B. 16

25-11

67-35

H.B. 116

27-2

Unanimous (99-0)

H.B. 519

27-1

89-6

H.B. 680

26-11

59-26

H.B. 681

22-14

68-26

2011

H.B. 415

Bobby Jindal (R)

Unanimous (37-0)

Unanimous (90-0)

S.B. 202

Unanimous (35-0)

Unanimous (97-0)

H.B. 416

37-2

Unanimous (93-0)

H.B. 106

Unanimous (36-0)

Unanimous (85-0)

H.B. 414

Unanimous (36-0)

84-2

Montana

2017

S.B. 59

Steve Bullock (D)

Unanimous (46-0)

90-10

S.B. 60

43-5

Unanimous (100-0)

S.B. 62

Unanimous (48-0)

Unanimous (97-0)

S.B. 63

Unanimous (50-0)

95-5

S.B. 64

47-3

97-3

S.B. 65

36-14

83-16

S.B. 67

Unanimous (49-0)

Unanimous (98-0)

S.J. 3

Unanimous (49-0)

76-24

H.B. 133

37-12

90-10

North Dakota

2017

S.B. 2015

Doug Burgum (R)

Unanimous (46-0)

85-7

H.B. 1041

Unanimous (42-0)

88-2

Rhode Island

2017

H.B. 5063A

Gina M. Raimondo (D)

Unanimous (33-0)

Unanimous (65-0)

H.B. 5117A

Unanimous (31-0)

Unanimous (69-0)

H.B. 5128A

29-3

Unanimous (69-0)

H.B. 5064A

Unanimous (32-0)

Unanimous (69-0)

H.B. 5115A

Unanimous (33-0)

Unanimous (68-0)

2008

H.B. 7204

Donald Carcieri (R)

25-11

60-12

Alaska

2016

S.B. 91

Bill Walker (I)

16-2

28-11

Maryland

2016

S.B. 1005

Larry Hogan (R)

Unanimous (46-0)

123-18

Nebraska

2015

L.B. 605

Pete Ricketts (R)

Unanimous (45-0)*

Alabama

2015

S.B. 67

Robert J. Bentley (R)

Unanimous (27-0)

100-5

2011

S.B. 47

Robert J. Bentley (R)

28-1

Unanimous (96-0)

S.B. 267

27-1

82-17

Utah

2015

H.B.  348

Gary Herbert (R)

Unanimous (23-0)

67-2

Idaho

2014

S. 1357

C.L. “Butch” Otter (R)

Unanimous (35-0)

Unanimous (66-0)

Mississippi

2014

H.B. 585

Phil Bryant (R)

Unanimous (50-0)

105-13 (3 voting present)

Oregon

2013

H.B. 3194

John Kitzhaber (D)

19-11

40-18

South Dakota

2013

S. 70

Dennis Daugaard (R)

31-2

63-7

West Virginia

2013

S.B. 371

Earl Ray Tomblin (D)

Unanimous (34-0)

81-17

Kansas

2013

H.B. 2170

Sam Brownback (R)

35-4

77-44

2007

S. 14

Kathleen Sebelius (D)

Unanimous (30-0)

95-30

Missouri

2012

H.B. 1525

Jay Nixon (D)

28-2

Unanimous (151-0)

Delaware

2012

S.B. 226

Jack Markell (D)

17-3

36-3

Pennsylvania

2012

H.B. 135

Tom Corbett (R)

Unanimous (49-0)

Unanimous (195-0)

S. 100

Unanimous (49-0)

Unanimous (198-0)

2008

H.B. 4

Ed Rendell (D)

48-2

195-3

H.B. 5

Unanimous (50-0)

Unanimous (199-0)

H.B. 6

49-1

Unanimous (199-0)

H.B. 7

Unanimous (50-0)

196-3

Hawaii

2012

S. 2776

Neil Abercrombie (D)

Unanimous (25-0)

40-9

H.B. 2515

Unanimous (25-0)

49-2

Oklahoma

2012

H.B. 3052

Mary Fallin (R)

39-5

71-18

Kentucky

2011

H.B. 463

Steve Beshear (D)

Unanimous (38-0)

96-1

North Carolina

2011

H.B. 642

Beverly Perdue (D)

Unanimous (50-0)

115-1

Ohio

2011

H.B. 86

John Kasich (R)

30-3

87-9

South Carolina

2010

S. 1154

Mark Sanford (R)

Unanimous  (46-0)

97-4

New Hampshire

2010

S. 500

John Lynch (D)

Voice vote

256-57

Wisconsin

2009

A.B. 75

Jim Doyle (D)

17-15

51-46

Illinois

2009

S.B. 1289

Patrick Quinn (D)

Unanimous (58-0)

98-18

Arizona

2008

S. 1476

Janet Napolitano (D)

20-4

35-18

Connecticut

2008

S.B. 1700

M. Jodi Rell (R)

Unanimous (36-0)

126-12

Vermont

2008

H.B. 859

Jim Douglas (R)

Unanimous (29-0)

Voice vote

Nevada

2007

A.B. 510

Jim Gibbons (R)

16-5

35-4

Texas

2007

H.B. 1

Rick Perry (R)

25-5

114-35

S. 166

Voice vote

143-1

*Nebraska has a unicameral legislature.

Note: Michigan implemented criminal justice reforms in 2010 through an administrative process (without new legislation) and is not included here. This fact sheet was updated on May 1, 2018, to reflect 2017 data.

Sources: State legislative tracking websites