(CNS News) -- When asked whether she supported legislation that would allow a judge to reduce the penalty for assaulting a police officer from a felony to a misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the office of House Delegate Amanda Batten (R-96th District) said she does not support such legislation, either the Senate version or what may eventually emerge from the House.
"Delegate Batten does not support SB5032 or any House version that may come from that," a spokeswoman for Batten told CNS News.
On Aug. 26 along party lines (21-15), the Virginia Senate passed SB 5032, which modifies the penalty for assault and battery committed against a police officer, judge, prison guard, or firefighter.
The bill essentially says that if a police officer, for instance, is assaulted and a jury or judge believes "the degree of culpability is slight," the offense can be reduced from a felony to a Class 1 misdemeanor.
The legislation is now under review in the Virginia House.
Last week, House Del. John Avoli (R-20th District) told CNS News, "I do not support SB 5032 nor do I support the House version."
"This bill empowers lawless rioters, like we see across the country at this moment, to assault the very people charged with keeping our communities safe by diminishing the consequences for attacking first responders and those charged with upholding and interpreting our laws," he said.
When CNS News asked House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) whether she supported the legislation, her office did not respond.
SB5032 was sponsored by Senator Scott A. Surovell (D-36th District).