Legislation for new jail advances

People in East Baton Rouge Parish who skip their court dates for traffic tickets and misdemeanor offenses could be fined $50 under legislation that cleared a House committee Thursday.

The objective of House Bill 915 is to generate enough money for a misdemeanor jail. Fines would be collected in Baton Rouge, Baker and Zachary when an arrest warrant is issued. Similar legislation is moving through the state Senate.

Mark Dumaine, a prosecutor with the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office, told the House Judiciary Committee Thursday that more than 150,000 outstanding warrants exist in the parish.

The committee moved the bill to the House floor.