House to Vote on Senate Amendment to H.308 (Racial Justice Bill)

All,

We are very pleased to update you that the Senate passed their version of the Racial Justice bill last week. Here is what you need to know about the Senate version of the bill. First, the Fair and Impartial Policing component (20 V.S.A. § 2366) was reintegrated into the bill. Secondly the areas of expertise of the five community appointees previously required were removed. The focus of the bill was returned to the initial scope of the criminal justice system. Though there were other modifications, we believe that these were the most significant.

The bill will be presented on the House floor TOMORROW as “H. 308 A committee to reorganize and reclassify Vermont’s criminal statutes” with a Senate proposal for amendment (it’s complicated).  The House can concur, further amend or send the bill to conference.  Key members of the coalition have been in discussion surrounding the Senate’s version and have concluded that though all stakeholders were required to compromise, the product (H.308) does satisfy the coalition’s original intent of the legislation.

We thank the House leadership, judiciary chair and bill sponsors for their work to date and earnestly request that they please consider concurring with the Senate’s Amendment. We have concluded that to do otherwise will delay and potentially jeopardize the passage of this racial justice reform bill that we have all worked so hard to get accomplished this year. We therefore implore House concurrence with the proposed Senate amendment to enable immediate adoption.

Ways to help:

1.) Call the Sergeant at Arms and leave a message for your Representative expressing your support for concurrence of the Senate amendment and immediate adoption of H.308 .  802-828-2228  You can also send an email: jmiller@leg.state.vt.us

2.) Send an email your Representatives your support for concurrence of the Senate Amendment and immediate adoption of H.308 – Find them here: http://legislature.vermont.gov/people

3)  Send an email expressing your support for concurrence of the Senate Amendment and immediate adoption of H.308.  Here is an email address that will enable yo to reach the house leadership, the judiciary chair and the bill sponsors:   house-h308-contacts@googlegroups.com.

Respectfully,

Racial Justice Reform Coalition

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