The House Friday afternoon endorsed a Senate bill that creates a new crime of aggravated disorderly conduct.
The Senate Judiciary Committee crafted the bill after a Topsham man complained that his neighbor “Jack” blared his horn, shouted obscenities and made life miserable for him and other neighbors.
The bill would both increase the penalty for repeat disorderly conduct and create the new offense with stiffer penalties of up to 180 days imprisonment and a fine of not more than $2,000.
Defender General Matthew Valerio has told senators he is concerned the bill is too far-reaching and would swamp the system with more low-level offenses.
The House Judiciary Committee said it heard testimony from a private citizen, the State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs’ Association, legislative council and the Defender General and unanimously approved the bill.