Contact Name: Sara Persechino
Phone: (603) 271-3479
CONCORD - Today, HB 1645, a bipartisan criminal justice bill aimed at increasing police accountability and improving bail reform was signed into law. The bill previously passed the Senate in a vote of 23-1 and was concurred by the House 255-74.
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 and as a Legislature, we recognize the need to make significant policy changes that make New Hampshire a safer place to live for everyone,” said Senate Judiciary Chair Martha Hennessey (D-Hanover). “This session, the Legislature worked together on criminal justice reforms including improvements to our bail reform statute, increasing the safety of New Hampshire’s minors, and strengthening accountability for perpetrators of domestic violence. We know that ensuring the safety and liberty of New Hampshire must continue to be a bipartisan priority in the next biennium and for many years to come. I am proud of the work that has been put forward so far and stand ready to continue the discussion towards lasting change.”
Senator Melanie Levesque (D-Brookline) added, “Today is a victory for New Hampshire. The measures taken in HB 1645 mark thoughtful, concrete steps to improve our criminal justice system and work towards a New Hampshire where all residents feel safe and protected. This means mandating that police report misconduct by fellow police officers and increasing access to psychological screening before officers assume duties. It means a codified prohibition of chokeholds, ensuring that the injustice committed in the murder of George Floyd earlier this year is not repeated here. As elected officials, we are committed to being a part of the solution that ensures equal justice for all as we advocate for policies that move our state forward. HB 1645 is the result of bipartisan work by the legislature and stakeholders - including the NH Police Association - and I am proud of its passage today.”