State legislators across America endorse

Family Friendly Jury Duty  Page 3

(Last updated February 19, 2006)

Ohio Rep. Thom Collier

Ohio State Rep. Thom Collier

The Ohio family friendly jury duty initiative (Ohio House Bill 256), sponsored by Rep. Thom Collier (R - District 90), was filed in May 2005.  HB 256 gives caregivers the ability to request to be excused from jury duty.  Three categories of caregivers are specified:

·          Parents who are the primary caregivers of their young children.

·          Parents who home school their children.

·          People who are the primary caregivers of elderly or disabled family members.

Oregon State Senator Charles Starr

Oregon State Senator

Charles Starr

In December 1999, Senator Charles Starr (R-Hillsboro) and Senator John Lim (R-Gresham) filed Senate Bill 1304, amending Oregon statute 10.050 to  instruct Oregon courts to excuse a person from acting as a juror if the person is the sole caregiver for a child or other dependent during the Court’s normal hours of operation. 

Senate Bill 1304 was signed into law by the governor and took effect January 1, 2000.

Tennessee State Senator Steve Cohen

Tennessee State Senator

Steve Cohen

“The purpose of (Family Friendly Jury Duty Legislation) is to protect women from an uncaring . . . judge'' who doesn't respect a woman's choice to breast-feed her child

Senate sponsor Sen. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis)

The Commercial Appeal,  (Memphis, TN)  May 26, 1999

Washington State Senator Joseph Zarelli

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Washington State Senator

Joseph Zarelli

“Serving on a jury is a serious responsibility of citizenship, but it can become an unnecessary burden for some in our society who are relied upon to care for others.  This bill (SB 5591) just codified something that several judges already do:  excuse sole caregivers from jury duty.”

From Senate Republican Caucus Media Center, March 6, 2001

Washington Senator Joseph Zarelli (R-Vancouver), Sponsor of SB 5591 in 2000 and SB 5064 in 2003.  Both bills would allow a person to be exempted from jury duty if they are the sole caregiver for a child or other dependent. 

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The following state legislators have either:

 

·          Enacted family friendly jury duty legislation in their state, OR

·          Are currently sponsoring a family friendly jury duty bill in their state, OR

·          Have recently sponsored a family friendly jury duty bill in their state.