New legislation to protect vulnerable adults from exploitation, abuse and neglect has the support of New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.
On the first day for filing legislative measures for the 2020 session, Sununu said he would support a revamped version of what he vetoed earlier this year.
The new bill removes a point that would have let law enforcement seize guns and weapons from alleged perpetrators of the abuse or neglect. The bill also explains that this type of protective order is not supposed to be for domestic violence cases – a clarification sought by victims’ rights groups.
“When I vetoed House Bill 696 this summer, I did so because it reduced the protections available to domestic violence victims,” Sununu said in a statement published on the Union Leader website.
“I pledged to work with the Legislature in a bipartisan manner to make sure we got the bill done right. In close partnership with Senator Bradley, we have accomplished that goal and look forward to working with Democrats, Republicans and the many interested stakeholders to get this done,” Sununu said.
The bill would allow the elderly and other vulnerable adults, along with their guardians or lawyers, to ask judges for protective orders, similar to those sought by victims of domestic violence and stalking.
“The state must be able to provide a legal pathway to protect vulnerable adults from abuse, exploitation and neglect from those who would take advantage of them,” said state Sen. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro. “This legislation I filed today improves upon past legislation to protect this population from the tragic occurrence of physical, mental and financial abuse.
“I am grateful to have worked with Governor Sununu on this bill and look forward to working with stakeholders and my colleagues in the Senate and House to get this bill to his desk,” Bradley added.