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Testimony of Deborah J. Fuller Judiciary Committee March 26, 2009

House Bill 6252, An Act Concerning the Selection of Judicial Marshals

Thank you for the opportunity to testify on House Bill 6252, An Act Concerning the Selection of Judicial Marshals.  The Judicial Branch is opposed to this bill because it would establish statutory mandates in an area that we believe is exclusively within our purview.

Sections 1 and 2 of this bill would require the Judicial Branch to post on our website, effective October 1 of this year, a written summary of the employment standards for judicial marshals.  Currently, the Branch is working on posting job descriptions and related information for all Judicial Branch positions on the internet.  However, this is a lengthy process and we do not anticipate that it will be accomplished by October 1, 2009.  We do not favor posting the job description for just one or a few of our many positions on the internet – we believe we should post them all at once.

We are also opposed to section 3, which would have the Legislature establish a statutory limit on the period of time that we can consider motor vehicle or criminal convictions.  Pursuant to statute, the Judicial Branch does require applicants for judicial marshal positions to submit to a criminal record background check.   However, a conviction does not automatically mean that an applicant doesn’t get the job.  Rather, we look to the particulars of the conviction – what was it for, how much time has elapsed, etc.  Motor vehicle convictions are considered serious, because all marshals are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL)  during training, and a motor vehicle conviction can make an applicant ineligible for a CDL.  We believe that we should retain the discretion to determine the period of time within which convictions are considered.

In conclusion, I urge the Committee not to act favorably on this bill. 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

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