BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A bid to raise the adult prosecution age in Louisiana one year to 18 has won strong support in the state Senate.

The proposal from Sen. J.P. Morell, a New Orleans Democrat, to include 17-year-old offenders in the juvenile justice system has drawn bipartisan support across both chambers. The Senate voted 33-4 Monday to advance the measure to the House for consideration.

District attorneys would still maintain their discretion to prosecute juveniles as adults for serious crimes, under the bill.

Gov. John Bel Edwards supports the proposal as part of his legislative package. The Democratic governor released a statement Monday saying treating 17-year-old offenders as adults "is costing our state too much money."

Morrell said states with similar legislation have seen long-term correctional savings.


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