Senate, House leaders call members to session for vote on Granite Hammer

Concord, NH – Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) and House Majority Leader Richard Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued the following statements addressing yesterday’s vote to kill the Granite Hammer program.

“Yesterday, nearly 75% of House Democrats voted against SB 485, a bill that would have expanded law enforcement interdiction measures to address the opioid crisis in New Hampshire,” said Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro). “Throughout this session, the Legislature has worked in a bi-partisan manner and has been fully committed to addressing the heroin and opioid crisis by increasing our ability to diminish the supply of these deadly drugs in our communities, while considering stronger prevention, treatment and recovery measures. Yesterday’s vote to kill Granite Hammer was an unexpected move that killed a program proven to be extremely effective in removing heroin and drug traffickers from the streets in cities and towns in New Hampshire.”

“While it is extremely disappointing that this bill was killed by House Democrats, it further proves that Governor Hassan is missing in action on critical issues facing this state and is focused on nothing more than political posturing and campaigning for the U.S. Senate, and not the issues the citizens of New Hampshire are dealing with every day,” added Bradley.

“The House and Senate believe it is critically important to ensure that this tried and tested program is available to cities and towns in the state of New Hampshire. Therefore, the Senate and House have taken the lead, calling our members in to Session on June 16 to again take up this measure,” said Bradley.

“The Governor had a path forward yesterday when she could have put in the effort to get the members of her own party to support SB 485,” said House Majority Leader Richard Hinch. “She failed to do that, and now she is asking the legislature to double back and try again, due to her own shortcomings.”

“The legislature worked tirelessly for the last eight months to come forward with a comprehensive package of legislation to address the opioid crisis, including SB 485, which would have aided law-enforcement effort and given them additional resources to fight our state’s drug crisis,” said Hinch. “The fact that the Governor chose to be absent from the discussion at this point in the legislative process is unfortunate. Had she not checked out of the state for numerous absences and neglected her basic responsibilities, she would have a bill to sign.”

Background: The Committee of Conference report on SB 485, which contained the additional resources for law enforcement, failed in the House by a vote of 159-160 on Wednesday. A procedural vote to reconsider that motion was also defeated 157-187, with a majority of House Democrats voting against revisiting the issue.