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Lamont tries to push juvenile crime bill over the finish line

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont
Jessica Hill
Associated Press
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont

With only a week left on the Connecticut legislative calendar, Governor Ned Lamont is urging lawmakers to pass his juvenile crime bill.

Lamont’s bill includes a series of initiatives and investments to provide law enforcement and communities the resources to tackle juvenile crime and violence. The bill passed in committee with bipartisan support.

“Five hundred more police by the end of this year. That’s what my goal is. More information for our judges so we know who is a first-time offender and did something really stupid and who is a chronic repeat offender.”

East Hartford Police Chief Scott Samson said the bill would help his department tackle an increase in juvenile crime caused by the pandemic.

“It extends for our juvenile hold, from six to eight hours, GPS monitoring is huge. It's not incarcerating kids per se. But it's giving us short-term tools to deal with the problem that my officers are facing on the street,” Samson said.

House Majority Leader Jason Rojas said an issue that is holding up the bill is that some members of his Democratic caucus are concerned the bill provides for widespread use of electronic monitors.

“What is the actual public policy of requiring those bracelets on young people? And whether they can be removed and provide false hope for safety,” Rojas said.

He said a vote on the bill would likely be scheduled later this week.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.