Rep. Wendell Willard Appointed to NCSL Law and Criminal Justice Committee

ATLANTA – State Representative Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs) was recently appointed to serve on the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Law and Criminal Justice Committee by House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge).

“I am honored by the confidence expressed by the Speaker with my appointment,” said Rep. Willard. “I look forward to the opportunity to further serve our state.”

The Law and Criminal Justice Committee is one of NCSL’s 12 standing committees. These standing committees serve an important role in representing state interests in Washington, D.C. and in facilitating policy innovation among the state and territorial legislatures. The committees also provide a unique forum for the discussion of major issues facing the states, which allows legislators to learn from the experiences of other states.

According to NCSL, the Law and Criminal Justice Committee addresses underlying principles for a balanced state-federal system and takes policy positions to preserve state sovereignty and set a high standard for preemption of state laws. The Committee’s broad jurisdiction includes federalism and preemption issues, constitution and constitutional law, civil rights and liability issues. The many state criminal justice issues under the Committee’s jurisdiction include capital punishment, corrections, crime victims, drug crime, juvenile justice, law enforcement, probation and parole and criminal sentencing.

Policies of the Law and Criminal Justice Committee include the federalism policy that states the overall philosophy of NCSL with regard to American federalism, and includes sections on preemption, grant conditions and mandates, sovereign immunity and criminal jurisdiction within the purview of the states. Other policies, some joint with other Standing Committees, include crime and justice, state identification, crime records and information, child support enforcement, faith-based initiatives, government regulations and takings under the Fifth Amendment, and recent policies that address medical malpractice and enforcement of civil immigration law.

The appointment is for a two-year term concurrent with Rep. Willard’s service as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives.

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves legislators and staffs from the nation’s 50 states. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. It also advocates for the interests of the states in the American federal system.

For more information about NCSL and its Law and Criminal Justice Committee, please click here.

Representative Wendell Willard represents the citizens of District 51, which includes portions of Fulton County. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2000, and is the Chairman of the Judiciary. He also serves on the Appropriations, Ethics, Judiciary Non-Civil, Rules and Ways & Means committees.

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