House Hearings on Buffer Zone Repeal, Human Trafficking Bills

First in Cornerstone’s 2019 series of State House updates!

Public hearings on proposed legislation for New Hampshire in 2019 are getting underway. At any of these hearings you may speak on a bill, or you may attend simply to sign a sheet indicating whether you support or oppose the bill. You can also send testimony in writing or via email.

HB 124, a bill to repeal New Hampshire’s unenforced buffer zone law, will have a hearing on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. in the House Judiciary Committee, room 208 of the Legislative Office Building (LOB) in Concord. Cornerstone supports this bill.

The buffer zone law, an attempt to nullify the First Amendment rights of peaceful pro-life witnesses outside abortion facilities, was passed in 2014. Then-Governor Maggie Hassan signed it immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a similar law in Massachusetts unconstitutional. The New Hampshire law has never been used. It’s a law that undermines the First Amendment without addressing any safety issues near abortion facilities.

The Judiciary Committee intends to vote on this bill only a few days after the hearing, so the committee members need to hear from you as soon as possible.

You can call the Judiciary committee office at (603) 271-3184 to leave a very brief message. You can email the committee in care of Chairman Rep. Marjorie Smith: marjorie.smith@leg.state.nh.us.

The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will hear HB 189-FN at 10:30 a.m. on January 9 in room 204 of the LOB. HB 201-FN will follow at 11:00 a.m. HB 189-FN would exempt child sex trafficking victims from criminal prosecution for trafficking, and HB 201 would increase the penalty for buyers under the law regarding trafficking in persons. Cornerstone supports these measures as steps toward more constructive policy regarding sex trafficking.

You can call the Criminal Justice committee office at (603) 271-3529 to leave a very brief message. You can email the committee in care of Chairman Rep. Renny Cushing: renny.cushing@leg.state.nh.us.

For more information on the important topic of human trafficking, we recommend that you check out NH Traffick-Free Coalition, an association of faith-motivated leaders dedicated to equipping churches and communities to address human trafficking in New Hampshire.

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