Hartzler Supports the JUSTICE ACT
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) announced her support of H.R. 7278, the JUSTICE Act, this week. The bill, originally introduced in the Senate by South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, addresses important elements of needed police reform in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death last month. Hartzler joins over 148 in co-sponsoring this legislation.
“The JUSTICE Act provides needed police reform to help ensure positive, fair policing while working to keep our communities safe. The vast majority of law enforcement officials are unsung heroes - good, courageous, and selfless public servants who protect our way of life. However, right now some Americans have lost confidence in our communities’ institutions. That is why we must come together to forge a new path of unity and purpose for our nation by addressing every injustice, while still acknowledging the positive and equitable actions carried out each day by law enforcement,” Hartzler said.
Specifically, the JUSTICE Act provides guidelines to:
- Maintain the constitutionally limited role the federal government plays in local law enforcement decisions while still affecting significant change;
- Create an innovative system of federal grant-related incentives to ensure local and State jurisdictions cease the use of dangerous techniques such as chokeholds unless the safety of the officer is at risk;
- Increase police access to grants for body-worn cameras and the best possible training when it comes to de-escalation and the duty to intervene;
- Make lynching a federal crime;
- Increase penalties for falsifying police reports;
- Increase appropriate access to police records for hiring decisions;
- Help local departments in hiring officers more closely representing their community; and
- Create two commissions to 1) give the nation a full picture of the issues facing black men and boys, including the criminal justice system, fatherhood and the family, education, health care, and financial status, and 2) undertake a thorough review of our criminal justice system.
“The JUSTICE Act takes a well-reasoned approach to reforming our system while also protecting the ability of law enforcement to safely and effectively do their jobs. Real reform to our justice system should not take on the form of anti-police measures like other proposed legislation in Congress. I urge Speaker Pelosi to give the JUSTICE Act a fair vote on the floor of the House of Representatives,” Hartzler said.
Hartzler’s co-sponsorship the JUSTICE Act comes in addition to her support of the First Step Act, the last major criminal justice reform legislation passed through Congress. The bill, signed into law by President Trump, authorized $75 million every year to provide prisoners with a second chance through rehabilitative programs and fair sentencing.