Legislative Update April 22

Week of April 22nd – April 26th 

Senate Hearings This Week

BILL: HB 383, Relative to Anti-Discrimination for Students in Public Schools

WHEN: The Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee will have a public hearing on the bill on Tuesday, April 23, in room 103 of the Legislative Office Building.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: OPPOSED. The problem is in the details: the bill is vague (what constitutes “discrimination”?), it is written to contain no exemptions for private schools, and subjective gender identity could become one of the grounds on which discrimination could be claimed. See Cornerstone’s bill commentary here. 

In short, HB 383 would take a noble idea – nondiscrimination – and use it to punish anyone not on board with gender politics. This is wrong.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact the Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee and urge them to vote “inexpedient to legislate” on HB 383. You can also attend the April 23 public hearing. Sign in as “opposed” on the sign-in sheet available near the entrance to the committee room. You need not testify aloud; your name on the sign-in sheet will let the committee know where you stand.

BILL: HB 480, Sports Betting

STATUS:  The Senate Ways and Means Committee will have a hearing on the bill on Wednesday, April 24 at 10:00 a.m. in room 100 of the State House.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: OPPOSED. The profitability of large-scale expanded gambling, such as the sports betting that this bill addresses, depends on addictive behaviors that are bad for New Hampshire families. Read more about Cornerstone’s position here

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Attend the hearing, and sign in as “opposed” to the bill (sign-in sheets will be available near the entrance to the committee room). You need not testify aloud; your name on the sign-in sheet will let the committee know where you stand. Contact Senate Ways and Means Committee members and urge them to vote “inexpedient to legislate” on HB 480.

BILL: HB 481, Legalizing and Regulating Recreational Marijuana

STATUS:  The Senate Judiciary Committee will have a hearing on the bill on Tuesday, April 23 at 9:35 a.m. in room 100 of the State House.

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. HB 481 is wrong for New Hampshire.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Attend the hearing, and sign in as “opposed” to the bill (sign-in sheets will be available near the entrance to the committee room). You need not testify aloud; your name on the sign-in sheet will let the committee know where you stand. Contact Senate Judiciary Committee members and urge them to vote “inexpedient to legislate” on HB 481.

See the bottom of this post for information on a public rally in opposition to HB 481, coming up on Sunday, April 28!

Update on Recent Legislative Action

These are bills we have been following, that are moving on to next steps. Your voice is still needed and still matters!

BILL: SB 196, Relative to Non-Academic Surveys Administered By Public Schools to Students

STATUS: The House Education Committee has already held a public hearing on the bill. A committee vote has been scheduled for May 7.

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: Contact the House Education Committee and urge members to vote “inexpedient to legislate” on SB 196.

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

WHEN: The House Education Committee will have a subcommittee work session on SB 263 Tuesday, April 23. Two amendments are being proposed to the bill; but unfortunately neither one addresses Cornerstone’s concerns.The committee will vote on the bill the following week, April 30.

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 (i.e. a male identifying as female being denied a place on a women’s sports team) may sue the school and school district. See Cornerstone’s bill commentary here.

Also, we hope you’ll view and share this video from Connecticut athlete Selina Soule, speaking about how boys identifying and competing as girls have affected her and her sport. While Selina is speaking about a federal bill, New Hampshire’s SB 263 has the same implications.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact the House Education Committee and urge them to vote “inexpedient to legislate” on SB 263.

BILL: SB 310, Casino Gambling

WHEN: The House Ways and Means Committee will have a work session on the casino bill on Tuesday, April 23 at 1:00 p.m. No committee vote has been scheduled yet. Watch future Cornerstone legislative updates for when and how to contact the committee.

At the public hearing on the bill a few days ago, fourteen people including a member of the Cornerstone Action team testified on the casino bill – and twelve of those who testified were opposed! This should help guide the committee to keep New Hampshire casino-free

CORNERSTONE POSITION: OPPOSED. Casinos and video slot machines foster gambling addiction, increase crime, and usually have a net negative economic effect on communities. Read more about Cornerstone’s position here

With New Jersey Bishop Jethro James

The Nope to Dope rally with Bishop Jethro James, originally scheduled for April 28, has been postponed due to scheduling conflicts. Watch Cornerstone’s Facebook page and email updates for more information.

Bishop Jethro James