A bill to end the practice of automatically prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds for crimes as adults has overwhelmingly passed the North Carolina House.
Lawmakers voted 104-8 on Wednesday for the “raise the age” legislation. Next, it will head to the Senate, where a competing proposal exists.
North Carolina will soon become the only remaining state that automatically tries the teens as adults since New York legislators agreed in April to a two-year phase out of the practice.
The House measure would take effect in 2019, shifting misdemeanor and certain non-violent felony cases to juvenile court. A Senate proposal would only shift misdemeanor cases.
While supporters argue that raising the age is the right thing to do, some lawmakers say they’re concerned about the financial challenges of moving cases to juvenile court.