Legislative Update April 8th

Week of April 8th – April 12th

A Note on Transgender Bills:
Much of Cornerstone’s time has been spent fighting the transgender agenda this session. Pandora’s box was opened last year when HB 1319 (“bathroom bill’) and HB 587 (counseling ban) were signed into law and the Governor created the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion. Those pushing the transgender agenda are pushing harder than ever. As you can see, there are two bills on the agenda next week on this subject. The fight isn’t over yet so legislators need to hear from you. 

House Hearing this Week

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

WHEN: The House Education Committee will have a hearing Wednesday, April 10 at 11:00 am; Legislative Office Building Room 207.

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.

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

Senate Hearing this Week

BILL: HB 669, Relative to Gender Identity Information Included on Drivers’ Licenses and Non-Drivers’ ID cards

WHEN: Senate Transportation Committee will have a hearing Tuesday April 9, 2:15pm; Legislative Office Building, Room 103.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: OPPOSED to this bill which would add “X” (“nonbinary”) as an option to M for male or F for female on drivers’ licenses and non-drivers’ identification cards. 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: Contact the Senate Transportation Committee and urge an “inexpedient to legislate” vote on HB 669.

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: HB 481, Legalizing and Regulating Recreational Marijuana

STATUS:  The full House voted this week “ought to pass” 200-163.  

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: Watch for future legislative updates from Cornerstone with information on a Senate hearing for HB 481.

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

STATUS: The House Education Committee has held a public hearing on the bill. A committee vote has not yet been scheduled.

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: Watch for future legislative updates from Cornerstone with information on the committee’s vote.

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

STATUS: The Senate Judiciary has held a public hearing on the bill and is likely to vote on it next week.

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: Watch for future legislative updates from Cornerstone with information on the committee’s vote.