Legislative Update April 1

Week of April 1st – April 5th

House Session Thursday, April 4th 10:00am

BILL: HB 481, Legalizing and Regulating Recreational Marijuana

STATUS:  The full House will vote on the bill Thursday, April 4. This is the second vote on the bill, and this is another chance to kill it. House Ways and Means Committee is recommending “ought to pass,” but the committee minority has filed its own report recommending “inexpedient to legislate.”

CORNERSTONE POSITION: OPPOSED. Enabling widespread use of recreational marijuana PRIVATIZES THE GAINS AND SOCIALIZES THE LOSSES of marijuana commercialization: NH taxpayers will lose money on the creation of an expensive executive agency, the Cannabis Control Commission. Eight of the eleven Cannabis Advisory Board members must be involved in the pot industry by statute, and only 3 will be in law enforcement, public health, or social justice. Translation:  the CCC will not care about the well-being of the average NH citizen, just the success of big pot.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact your state representatives and urge them to vote “Inexpedient to Legislate”. HB 481 is wrong for New Hampshire.

House Hearings this Week

BILL: SB 196 Relative to Non-Academic Surveys Administered by Public School to its Students.

WHEN: The House Education Committee will have a Public Hearing Wednesday, April 3rd at 1 p.m; Legislative Office Building, Room 207.

CORNERSTONE POSITION:  OPPOSED. SB 196 would roll back a 2017 law protecting student privacy and parental rights. Instead of giving parents the right to “opt-in” before a non-academic survey is administered to their children in school, it would switch to an “opt-out” policy – meaning that if a parent doesn’t actively say NO, the school will administer the survey to the student. Read our written testimony from earlier this year when the bill had its Senate hearing.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Attend the hearing; even if you do not wish to testify you may sign a sheet indicating your opposition to the bill. You may also email the House Education Committee to ask for an “inexpedient to legislate” recommendation on SB 196.

Senate Hearings this Week

BILL: HB 189 Establishing an Exemption from Criminal Penalties for Child Sex Trafficking Victims

WHEN: The Senate Judiciary Committee will have a Public Hearing Tuesday, April 2nd, 9:10 a.m.; Legislative Office Building, Rm 100.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: SUPPORT. HB 189 is a child protection measure, and it is an important step toward constructive public policy regarding sex trafficking.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Attend the hearing and support the bill. You may also contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to urge them to vote “ought to pass” on HB 189.

BILL: HB 446 Relative to Initiating Amendments and Corrections to Birth Records

WHEN: The Senate Health and Human Services will have a Public Hearing Tuesday, April 2nd at 1 p.m.; Legislative Office Building, Room 101.

CORNERSTONE POSITION:  OPPOSED.  Maintaining accurate birth records is not discriminatory, but many voted against it as if it were. HB 446 does not change the government’s need for accurate information. We can show tolerance and respect for those who identify as a different gender while still maintaining factual data that helps our government identify and solve health and safety threats.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Attend the hearing to register your opposition to the bill. You may also call or email members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Update on Recent Legislative Action

Bills we have been following, that are now on to the next steps. Your voice still needed and still matters! 

BILL: SB 318 Relative to Donations to the Education Tax Credit Program

STATUS: The Senate has voted to table this bill. It may be reconsidered at a later date, but for now, it is stalled.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: OPPOSED to HB318. This bill would undermine the education tax credit (ETC) program by adding a politicized management commission to the ETC scholarship process. The program is NOT broken and does NOT need fixing. (See School Choice NH’s analysis.)

BILL: SB 263 Relative to Anti-Discrimination for Students in Public Schools

STATUS: The Senate has voted “ought to pass” on an amended version of the bill. The bill will get a House hearing at a later date.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: OPPOSED. As written, any student who is denied the opportunity to play on the sports team of his/her choice on the grounds of being transgender may sue the school and school district