Rep. Stephen Palmer, a Families First Pledge signer, served as co-chair of the House Republican Alliance during the past term. The HRA is the conservative conscience of the House, which distributes the weekly “pink sheet” to support or oppose bills as they relate to the N.H. Republican Party Platform. The organization articulated constitutional and platform-based arguments for many pro-family positions that became law.
Rep. Palmer, one of Cornerstone’s 30 Heroes of the Family for supporting Cornerstone’s agenda 100 percent of the time, also served as clerk for the House Environment and Agriculture Committee. One of the bills he co-sponsored, HB 1402, advanced through his committee and became law, expanding economic opportunities for small family farms. The bill created a homestead kitchen license to allow small family farms to produce up to $10,000 worth of agricultural goods per year without having to meet the same costly standards as large commercial farms. The bill also allowed farms to yield up to 20 gallons of raw milk and use that milk to produce cheese, butter, yogurt, cream or kefir.
Notably, Rep. Palmer sponsored HB 1536, which would have specifically prohibited government agencies from “substantially” burdening a person’s free exercise of religion. The bill would have also given citizens the right to sue government officials who violate the prohibition and use their religion as a defense when accused of rule or law violations. Unfortunately, the bill didn’t make it out of committee, but Rep. Palmer’s pioneering work on the issue will make it easier for the idea to be advanced again.
If re-elected to represent Hillsborough 23 (Milford) in one of four seats, Rep. Palmer will continue to fight for families all across New Hampshire.