HB1640 (2008)

HB1640 House floor vote

The bill came up for a floor vote in the House today.

Rep. Jennifer Brown attempted to amend the bill, adding provisions similar to HB1501, where two teenagers who engage in a single instance of consensual sex that crosses the age-of-consent boundary would not result in a registrable offense. The amendment was torpedoed when another representative asked a question, implying that the amendment would protect first-time child rapists—ignoring the fact that Rep. Brown explicitly said it only applied to consensual acts.

The amendment was narrowly defeated by a voice vote. The bill was then put to a voice vote and passed overwhelmingly, with only a dozen or so nays.

Concord Monitor: Bill to broaden sex offender list

By Annmarie Timmins, Monitor Staff (original article)

Lawmakers are considering vastly expanding the public sex offender registry to include not only more crimes like some Peeping-Tom incidents and indecent exposures, but also the names of people who’ve victimized adults. The public list now identifies only child molesters.

The proposed legislation, introduced in part to bring New Hampshire in line with federal requirements, would also allow the police to collect more information from offenders, including cell phone numbers, e-mail addresses, online screen names and DNA if it hasn’t already been collected.

HB1640 House public hearing

The public hearing for this bill was held before the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on 2008-02-05 at 10:30. Laurie, Jeremy, and Mark Warden attended, along with Denis Goddard, Research Director of the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance, and a few other NHLA activists.

Rep. Cynthia Dokmo testified to the committee first, explaining the purpose of HB1640 in detail. Mark Warden was the first member of the public to be called to testify, and he gave detailed testimony as to the money issues with this bill. An excerpt:—

With the latest appropriation out of Congress for [the Byrne Grant] program being slashed by 67%, the amount left for states and municipalities has decreased substantially. And of the money that will continue to come in, we only stand to lose 10% of the amount if we are not in compliance. By my estimation, that forfeited amount will only be about $75,000. Yet the fiscal note on this bill from the department states that these changes will cost over $116,000 the first year, along with additional costs of compliance and personnel ad infinitum.

Spending $116,000 to keep $75,000. Need more be said?

HB1640 (2008)

HB1640, titled “an act relative to the classification of convicted sex offenders and offenders against children,” is New Hampshire’s attempt at complying with the federal Adam Walsh Act (AWA). We’ve identified a large number of serious problems with this bill, and thus we oppose its passage in its current form.

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