CONTACT: Jean Weinberg
Pledges to Continue to Work Across the Aisle
to Protect Families in Congress
(June 26 , 2006) —Today, Democratic House Leader Jim Craig , candidate for Congress in New Hampshire's First District, joined Governor Lynch at the signing of the Sexual Predators Act at the New Hampshire State House. Working across the aisle to pass responsible legislation to protect families, Craig worked with bill sponsors Representative Peter Batula (R-Merrimack) and Senator Joe Foster (D-13). Craig was instrumental in passing the legislation and it is one of the Governor's major triumphs this legislative session.
“I am proud to stand with the Governor and all of my colleagues, Democrat and Republican, as the Sexual Predators Act is signed,” said Craig. “It is our job as legislators to protect the families of New Hampshire and we all worked together to get the job done. I will continue that fight in Congress.”
HB 1692, the New Hampshire Sexual Predators Act:
- Creates an expectation under the law that judges will impose a minimum sentence of 25 years for first-time offenders. If the judge decides to hand out a lesser sentence, the judge must explain his or her decision, in writing at the time of sentencing. If the prosecutor disagrees with the sentence, the state can appeal to a three-judge panel which will determine whether the 25-year minimum sentence should be imposed.
- Creates a mandatory sentence of life without parole for second-time offenders.
- Provides for civil commitment to a secure psychiatric facility of the most dangerous predators who cannot control their actions and pose a serious danger to the public.
- Tightens the registration requirements for sexual offenders so that parents have more complete and accurate information to protect their children.
In addition, the bill toughens monitoring of convicted sex offenders after they are released from prison:
· Imposes mandatory lifetime supervision on all offenders;
- Provides more information to parents about sexual predators living in their neighborhoods;
- Increases the penalties for sexual offenders who avoid registering;
- Creates new crimes for people who help sexual offenders avoid registering and for offenders who lie about information on their registration.
Jim Craig, a life-long resident of Manchester, has represented the 9th District of Hillsborough County in the New Hampshire State House for eight years.
As the Democratic Leader, Jim earned a solid reputation for working across party lines to build a lasting, bipartisan consensus that represents the mainstream values of New Hampshire residents.