When it comes to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act reauthorization, the Senate has clearly carried the water. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has told Beltway advocates he is committed to getting it done, and a new version of the bill that made it through the Senate Judiciary Committee last year is in that committee hopper, ready to be acted on.
But as many a mother of two has reminded her sons after a tussle, it takes two to tango. So what gives on the House side? Yes, Rep. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) submitted a JJ reform bill, which he hopes will become part of the reauthorization. The real work of reauthorization will be done by the House Committee on Education and Labor, and all things at that office flow through its chairman, Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.).
Miller is no stranger to the issue of services for troubled children. He has been pushing his own piece of legislation for years that would regulate the behavioral modification programs that parents often send their children to so they won’t end up in the juvenile justice system. He also has Ruth Friedman on his committee staff as senior education policy adviser. She’s a researcher and former child therapist who is well-respected in the JJ community.
But Miller has been very quiet on the subject of reauthorization, and he passed on discussing it with JJ Today. But we did get the first indication from his staff that it is on his radar.
“Chairman Miller is committed to a comprehensive reauthorization this Congress,” said committee press secretary Melissa Salamanowitz.
Of course, this Congress extends through the end of 2010.