Legislative Action Item Details

Please ask your legislators for the status of the legislation listed below, and urge them to move it forward! Even though some of this legislation may seem to overlap, it’s important to reach out about all 4 bills because we don’t know which bill will actually move forward. And don’t forget to ask your friends and family to reach out too.

H.464 – An act relating to law enforcement training on appropriate use of force, de-escalation tactics, and cross-cultural awareness. This bill proposes to require: 1) the collection and distribution of data regarding the use of force used in a traffic stop; 2) the Criminal Justice Training Council to develop a model policy regarding the use of force, de-escalation, and cross-cultural awareness, and for law enforcement agencies to adopt a policy containing each component of the model policy; and 3) the Criminal Justice Training Council to report to the Executive Director of Racial Equity regarding trainings on the model policy and race based data collection. This bill is currently in the House Government Operations Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas scopelandhanzas@leg.state.vt.us

S.119 – This is the Senate version of H.464. Right now, we’re not sure which, if either, of these bills will move forward. This is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Dick Sears rsears@leg.state.vt.us

H.808 – An act relating to the use of deadly force by law enforcement. This bill proposes to establish a policy on what is defined as deadly force and to limit the circumstances where it’s used is deemed appropriate, with the understanding that physical force is a serious responsibility that shall be exercised judiciously and with respect for human rights and dignity and for the sanctity of every human life. This bill is currently in the House Government Operations Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas scopelandhanzas@leg.state.vt.us

H.937 – An act relating to supporting the work of the Executive Director of Racial Equity. This bill proposes to add two new positions—policy analyst and research analyst—to support the work of the Executive Director of Racial Equity to mitigate systemic racism in all branches of State government. This bill is currently in the House Government Operations Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas scopelandhanzas@leg.state.vt.us

Tips on communicating with legislators:

  1. Share a personal story about why this legislation matters so much to you.
  2. Include your contact information—they probably won’t reply, but this will confirm that you’re a real person. If you’re actually from their district, they’ll take even more interest in your message.
  3. Be polite. It’s ok to be angry and hurt. But since you’re asking these legislators to do something, they’re more likely to respond sympathetically if you’re encouraging them to do the right thing.
  4. Afterwards, tell friends and family what you did. Share it on social media. This will encourage others to follow your example.
  5. Consider writing a letter to the editor of your local paper about why one or all of these bills matter so much to you.

Check back on the legislative links for each bill to track its progress through the legislature. Keep reaching out to your legislators. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

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