The state Senate Thursday approved a bill that would create a commission to review the conduct of prosecutors, creating an entity that would be empowered to review complaints and take accountability actions.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. John DeFrancisco, was handily approved by the GOP-controlled chamber and could pass the Democratic-controlled Assembly next week.

The commission would be similar to an existing body that oversees the conduct of judges in the state.

But at the same time, the commission would not have the superseding powers to remove a sitting district attorney as outlined by the state constitution, which grants that power to the governor.

“Prosecutors have substantial discretion over how to prosecute cases,” DeFrancisco said. “This commission would serve as an impartial forum for reviewing allegations made against prosecutors to determine whether they acted properly in certain criminal cases.”

Nevertheless, the bill represents a skeptical view of locally elected prosecutors.

“They have wide latitude in determining how to prosecute and whether to prosecute certain offenses against certain defendants,” the bill’s memo states. “It is vitally important there exist in law a tribunal to oversee that discretion, to protect the rights of defendants, and make certain they are not violated. The liberties at stake in criminal prosecutions call for this level of scrutiny.”

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said his conference was supportive of the legislation.

“I do think the members are more favorable to it,” Heastie. “The fact that the Senate has taken this up lends a little more seriousness to where we are.”