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AFP-NH Whipping Against Regressive Pretrial Reforms in HB 1476

May 24, 2022 by AFP

Concord, New Hampshire—Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire warned lawmakers this week that the grassroots group was opposing HB 1476, which contains a number of changes to New Hampshire’s pretrial detention laws.

The group put lawmakers on notice Monday with a Key Vote Alert indicating that the vote on the bill would be included in their legislative scorecard. AFP-NH noted that the proposed statutory changes “flip due process on its head” and amount to an “unforgiving mandate to lockup anyone who has ever in their life been accused of low-level crimes.” AFP-NH also cited the increased cost of the changes, which would remove judicial discretion and unnecessarily detain individuals pre-trial regardless of their actual risk level to the community. This cost would likely fall onto taxpayers in the form of property tax increases.

AFP-NH Deputy State Director Ross Connolly made the following statement against HB 1476:

“With working families struggling to make ends meet due to inflation, lawmakers shouldn’t be asking Granite Staters to pay higher property taxes by needlessly jailing individuals accused of minor crimes who are not a threat to the community. HB 1476 would drastically increase the amount of people detained in county jails. Current law already provides judges with discretion to detain individuals accused of violent offenses who may be a threat to the public. HB 1476 is far too broad in its attempt to address lawmakers’ stated concerns. We strongly encourage the House and Senate to reject this incredibly flawed proposal and stand for due process in the Granite State.”

The opposition to HB 1476 is bipartisan. In addition to AFP-NH, the New Hampshire chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is urging lawmakers to vote down the measure.

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