Legislative Update March 22

What We’re All Up Against in 2021
In short, the voices of citizens fighting for faith, family, and freedom are being drowned out by those committed to overturning the very foundation of our governance and way of life.

With the legislative landscape looking very different this year and the majority of the people’s business being handled virtually, we’ve witnessed large organized efforts to overwhelm committee meeting sign-ins and legislator correspondence to push a highly progressive agenda. We know it’s an agenda not shared by most Granite Staters, but the effect has been to embolden our opposition and shake the resolve of friendly legislators.

Our adversaries are not fighting for or against a single bill, they are focused on and committed to achieving an ultimate outcome. Their vision is for a world without protections for life, where faith is punished, natural law destroyed, and one where those who would defend those principles are silenced.

For the first time in many years, we are blessed with a legislative body that is capable of blocking harmful legislation and moving forward important protections that would stem the current tide of destruction.  Wasting this opportunity brings a cost no one wants to pay. 

Today. It is time for each of us to decide the vision we are committed to, and resolve to speak up forcefully, often, and in far greater numbers. In these times, silence is far from a “safe” alternative. Please share this update and help get the word out. Together, we can stem the tide.

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! 

Note: Status of bills largely has not changed since last week. You still have time to take action.

Continue the fight for life in New Hampshire! If you have not already done so, please contact your senator and ask them to vote YES on HB 625-FN!
HB 625-FN, relative to the protection of fetal life, would prohibit abortion after 24 weeks gestation. If passed it would become New Hampshire’s first prohibition on abortion at any stage of gestation. We are still awaiting scheduling of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on HB 625-FN. However, it is still extremely important that your senators hear from you. Contact your senator and ask them to vote in favor of HB 625-FN here.

HB 542with amendment: The Religious Liberty Act

STATUS: The House Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 Ought to Pass on HB 542 with amendment. The bill is now pending a full vote in the House of Representatives.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS HB 542.

WHY:  “[HB 542] will protect churches from being treated worse than other essential services. To religious people around the world, religious communities are of fundamental and eternal importance. Our federal and state constitutions appropriately provide unique protections for religious exercise that are not accorded to other kinds of activities and organizations.”

Read the rest of the testimony from Cornerstone’s Director of Policy, Ian Huyett.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Please call or email your representatives and ask them to vote in favor of HB 542!

HB 440 with amendment: The Civil Liberties Defense Act

STATUS: On February 26th, the House Judiciary Committee voted 11-10 Ought To Pass on HB 440 with amendment. The bill is now pending a full vote in the House of Representatives. 

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone SUPPORTS HB 440.

WHY:  “Strong executive action does not require that constitutional rights be suspended or set aside. New Hampshire does not need to adopt the radical theory that civil liberties are subject to suspension in an emergency and that no constitutional scrutiny applies to emergency actions.”

Read the rest of the testimony from Cornerstone’s Director of Policy, Ian Huyett.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Please call or email your representatives and ask them to vote in favor of HB 440!

HB 136, requiring schools to update documents and software to include the option of identifying a student as non-binary

STATUS: The Education Committee has voted to retain HB 136 in committee and not move it forward for a full House vote at this time. It will likely be considered by the House in September.

CORNERSTONE POSITION: Cornerstone OPPOSES this bill.

WHY:  “[Cornerstone believes] that in its current form, HB 136 invites potential unintended negative consequences for the student. While non-binary is a self-identity issue, biological sex does impact other areas such as healthcare. By removing any annotation of the student’s biological sex, appropriate medical care measures may be delayed or not identified.”

NEXT STEPS: We’ll be keeping an eye on the bill and will let you know when it is again being considered.

SB 130, relative to education freedom accounts

STATUS: On Thursday, March 18th, the NH Senate approved their version of the education freedom account bill (SB 130), 14-10 down party lines. The bill was then tabled, so that it could become part of the proposed two-year budget the Senate will take up later this spring. As we have reported previously, the House already retained its own bill in committee (HB 20).

NEXT STEPS: We’ll be watching the progress of SB 130 together with the budget process and will keep you updated.

Upcoming Special Elections for Merrimack and Bow/Dunbarton
Every seat counts! Be sure to educate yourself on your town’s upcoming election dates and candidates.

Merrimack 
(Hillsborough 21):
Election: April 13

Find complete information here.

Bow and Dunbarton (Merrimack 23):
Primary:  April 20
Election: June 8

Find complete information here. (Select Merrimack 23 from dropdown list.)