Legislative Update February 3rd

Week of February 3-7, 2020

Key Legislation:

  • HB 1251, Save Women’s Sports has second hearing Tuesday
  • SB 741-FN, hearing on Senate version of Born Alive Infants Protection Act Tuesday
  • CACR 14, abortion in state constitution, gets committee vote Wednesday

HB 1251, Participation in school sports for female student athletes (Saving Women’s Sports)

WHEN: Second Hearing is Tuesday, February 4, 1 pm, House Education Committee, room 207 of Legislative Office Building (behind State House in Concord) (Note: This is a second hearing scheduled to accommodate testimony not heard on January 22nd)

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS HB 1251.

WHY: This bill would prohibit public schools from permitting a male student to participate in a student sport designated for females. Female athletes deserve a level playing field. They should not have to compete against biological males for a spot on the podium, even if those males claim a female gender identity, something that is already happening at all levels of sport. (One example is that of a biological male from Franklin Pierce College who won the women’s Division II 2019 national NCAA championship in the 400-meter hurdles.)

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1) Attend the hearing, especially if you signed up to speak at the original hearing but were not called upon. Even if you aren’t able to testify, you can sign in supporting the bill. Your presence and voice counts.
2) Contact members of the House Education Committee and ask them to recommend “ought to pass” on HB 1251

SB 741-FN, Senate version of born-alive infant protection act (House version is HB1675-FN)

WHEN: Tuesday, February 4, 3:20 pm, Senate Health and Human Services Committee, State House Room 100

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS SB 741-FN.

WHY: SB 741-FN would protect infants who survive attempted abortion. The federal born-alive law from 2002 does not address how born-alive children who are abortion survivors are to be treated under state law. New Hampshire’s own born-alive law, passed more than a decade ago, contained no penalties for failure to exercise appropriate care for a born-alive child. SB 741-FN remedies both of those statutory gaps. Read our full testimony on behalf of the House version (HB 1675-FN).

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1) Attend the hearing. Even if you don’t plan to testify, you can sign in supporting the bill. Your presence and voice counts.
2) Contact members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and ask them to recommend “ought to pass” on SB 741-FN.

Looking ahead… 

Mark your calendars for an important hearing on a bill that seeks to legalize physician-assisted suicide, HB 1659-FN on Wednesday, February 12 at 1 pm in House Judiciary Committee, Legislative Office Building Room 208. We’ll have more details in next week’s update.

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! 

CACR 14, Abortion in the NH Constitution

STATUS: The House Judiciary Committee will vote on CACR 14 in executive session Wednesday, February 5 at 10 am in room 208 of the Legislative Office Building. You’ll recall that pro-life turnout was overwhelming at the bill’s public hearing, as dozens of people spoke against making abortion a “right” under our state’s constitution!

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone OPPOSES CACR 14. (Read Cornerstone’s report on the hearing, Constitutional Amendment on Abortion Meets Strong Opposition.)

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact the House Judiciary Committee and urge the members to recommend “inexpedient to legislate” to the full House.

HB 1675-FNBorn Alive Infant Protection Act

STATUS: The hearing was held on Wednesday, January 29. This is the House version of born-alive legislation. The Senate version, SB 741-FN, is described above in this update.

NEXT STEP: The House Judiciary Committee has not yet scheduled a vote on HB1675-FN, so you can still contact the committee members.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS HB 1675-FN. Read Cornerstone’s testimony at the hearing, clarifying the bill and its scope.

WHAT YOU CAN DOContact the House Judiciary Committee and urge the members to say YES to HB 1675-FN and the companion bill HB 1678-FN (see below). 

HB 1678-FNPrenatal Non-discrimination Act

STATUS: The hearing was on Wednesday, January 29. 

NEXT STEP: The Judiciary Committee has not yet scheduled a vote on HB1678-FN, so you can still contact the committee members.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS HB 1678-FN. Read Cornerstone’s testimony at the hearing, clarifying the bill and its scope.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact the House Judiciary Committee and urge the members to say YES to HB 1678-FN and 1675-FN. (See above.)

Good news on SB 663-FN, Affecting Education Tax Credit Program

Read the summary of the bill by the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy: Senate bill would redirect money for lower-income scholarship kids to higher-income college grads

STATUS: The hearing was on January 29th. Immediately after the hearing, the Senate Ways and Means Committee voted “inexpedient to legislate,” a step forward in protecting New Hampshire’s successful education tax credit program which has enabled hundreds of  New Hampshire families to exercise school choice for the benefit of their children.

NEXT STEP:  The bill will now be put before the full Senate. We’ll share the date as soon as we know. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO:  This is the time to contact your state senator and ask for support of the committee recommendation of “inexpedient to legislate” on SB 663-FN.

Legislative Wrap-Up

Here are a few of the bills Cornerstone is monitoring. Each of the following bills has had a public hearing, and committee votes have not yet been scheduled. 

Changing school records to indicate a student is “non-binary”: HB 1163  will require schools to update documents and software to include the option of identifying a student as non-binary (i.e. neither male nor female). This is the inevitable consequence of SB 263, which Governor Sununu signed in 2019, and HB 1319, which he signed in 2018. See our September 2019 coverage of another SB 263 consequence – one of many, and our February 2018 post on HB 1319, the gender identity bill (now law).  

Birth certificates: HB 1577-FN is a repeat of last year’s bill to allow changes in birth records to reflect gender reassignment. Cornerstone opposed last year’s attempt to tinker with vital records, and we will oppose HB 1577-FN now.  

Non-academic surveysHB 1459 is yet another attempt to weaken a Cornerstone-supported law that respects parental rights and student privacy. There was a bill similar to this last year; here’s Cornerstone’s testimony from January 2019

Religious liberty for students and teachersHB 1306, another re-run from 2019, would repeal a law allowing school districts to authorize the use of the Lord’s Prayer in school. (Here’s our 2019 testimony.) It is being countered by HB 1334, a thoughtful pro-religious liberty measure. 

Cannabis policy: numerous billsare under consideration, including one to use marijuana to “treat” children with autism (SB 700-FN). Read Cornerstone’s testimony.

Education tax credit scholarships: SB 663 (described above) isn’t the only threat to the ETC scholarship program. HB 1423 seeks to impose additional onerous reporting requirements.

Parental RightsHB 1616 would allow minors from age 12 to have treatment for behavioral health services without parental consent. The House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee will have a work session on the bill Tuesday, February 4 at 10:00 am in room 308 LOB.