Contact Name: Sara Persechino
Phone: (603) 271-3479
CONCORD - Today, HB 1645, a bipartisan criminal justice bill, was signed by the Senate President. It will next be delivered to the Secretary of State before heading to the governor’s desk where he will have five business days to sign, veto, or allow the bill to become law without his signature.
Senate Judiciary Chair Martha Hennessey (D-Hanover) and Senator Melanie Levesque (D-Brookline) issued the following statements in response:
“The nation’s eyes are on our criminal justice system following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the subsequent protests in response,” said Senator Martha Hennessey (D-Hanover). “Action must be taken to work towards a system of justice that is fair for all. Improvements to our bail reform statute, increasing the safety of New Hampshire’s minors, and strengthening accountability for perpetrators of domestic violence have been bipartisan priorities and I urge the governor to sign HB 1645 into law.”
Senator Melanie Levesque (D-Brookline) added, “HB 1645 is a bipartisan omnibus bill crafted with the support of law enforcement that works towards addressing some of the state’s most pressing issues in our criminal justice system while also making changes towards the long term improvement of our state. The measures outlined in this legislation consist of thoughtful, concrete steps to improve our criminal justice system including mandating that police report misconduct by fellow police officers and increasing access to psychological screening before officers assume duties. We must reflect on the nation as a whole and take steps that allow all New Hampshire residents to feel safe. We have seen too many people across the country physically harmed and killed through the use of chokeholds. HB 1645 prohibits their use. The conversation surrounding criminal justice reform is only beginning and I am proud of the work done thus far by my Senate colleagues and stakeholders including the New Hampshire Police Association. HB 1645 is the first of many steps and I look forward to its passage.”