With crossover behind us, we are now in the second half of the 2023 legislative session. While the pace of the session has slowed, the stakes remain high as bills are now moving through their second chamber (meaning those that pass are now just a governor’s signature away from becoming law).
Here's what is at stake this week:
- Rein in Government Surveillance and Police Power: Tomorrow (4/11) the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony on HB 624, which would require state and local law enforcement to provide public notice when they learn that a federal agency intends to conduct an immigration checkpoint. While these checkpoints have been sold to the public as focused on immigration enforcement, history has taught us what this is really about – using immigration as an excuse to expand government surveillance and policing near the border. In fact, a few years back a New Hampshire court found these checkpoints are used to circumvent the New Hampshire Constitution to go after Granite Staters for low-level drug possession.
- Protect Reforms to New Hampshire's Bail System: Last week the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee heard Testimony on SB 249 and SB 252. Both of these bills would roll back important sections of New Hampshire’s bail law and result in the unnecessary incarceration of potentially thousands of Granite Staters each year. Fortunately, the Committee voted to retain SB 249, but could take action to advance SB 252 this week. Please contact your Representative(s) and remind them that current law already allows the court to detain any individual pretrial and challenge a release order the state disagrees with and, despite the fear-based rhetoric and limited anecdotal stories from some law enforcement leaders, proponents of this legislation have proved no data to support their claims that the current bail system makes New Hampshire less safe. In fact, crime rates in NH have decreased over 18 percent since the implementation of bail reform. Take Action Now!
Our legislators are accountable to the people, and your voice can make a difference. Thank you for taking action!
Want to learn more about the ACLU of New Hampshire’s 2023 legislative priorities? Check out our legislative page here.