Summer Update 2019

BILLS SIGNED, VETOED AND MADE INTO LAW 

Mixed Results from Governor Sununu
on 2019 Bills

Governor Chris Sununu is leaving a mixed record as he deals with the bills passed by the New Hampshire General Court in 2019. His recent decisions include victories for parental rights and anti-trafficking efforts, but disappointments regarding gender policy and expanded gambling. 

As you review the bills below, keep in mind that the House and Senate are expected to take up the Governor’s vetoes later this summer, on a date yet to be determined.

If you wish to contact the Governor about his actions, whether to thank him or to express concern, his office phone number is (603) 271-2121, or you can use the contact form on his web page.

GOOD NEWS…

Governor Chris Sununu signs HB 189, protecting minors involved in human trafficking, while bill supporters, including Cornerstone executive director Shannon McGinley (at left), look on.

HB 189, protecting juvenile victims of sex trafficking: Signed! 

Governor Sununu has signed this bill into law (effective 1/1/2020), protecting trafficked children from facing criminal charges for nonviolent offenses directly arising from their being trafficked.

“Protecting human dignity begins with protecting children,” said Cornerstone Executive Director Shannon McGinley after the bill was signed. “It was an honor for Cornerstone to add its voice to those of other advocates for HB 189. We thank Rep. [Linda] Massimilla [Littleton] and her colleagues for sponsoring this protective legislation. We will continue to support passage of legislation that honors the dignity of every human life.”
To read more about this bill, click here.

SB 196, undermining parental rights: Vetoed!

Governor Sununu supported parental rights and student privacy by casting a veto on SB 196. He was right to veto this bill, which would have changed our state’s current parental “opt-in” safeguards for invasive non-academic in-school surveys to instead require parents to specifically “opt-out.” His veto is the right decision for New Hampshire families. We will call on the legislature to do the right thing and uphold the veto on SB 196. 
To read more about this bill, click here. 

HB 446, amending birth certificates: Vetoed!

Governor Sununu exercised good sense by saying “no” to HB 446. It would have turned a birth certificate, which is a vital record, into a record of feelings about one’s own sex. Vital records are intended to document facts, not feelings. Let’s not pretend that a birth certificate can somehow be a discriminatory document. Facts don’t discriminate. We urge legislators to uphold the veto on HB 446.

To read more about this bill, click here. 

…And Disappointing News

HB 669, “X” gender on drivers’ licenses: becomes law without Governor’s signature


HB 669, allowing “X” as a description of the holder’s gender on a driver’s license or state-issued ID, goes into effect on January 1, 2020. On that date, on Governor Sununu’s watch, drivers’ licenses state-issued IDs will become declarations of personal feelings. That’s no antidote to discrimination. The Governor is mistaken to think otherwise. While he declined to sign the bill, he could have prevented it from becoming law. Instead, his silence at this time meant consent.
To read more about this bill, click here. 

SB 263, regarding students and anti-discrimination policy: Signed

Governor Sununu signed SB 263. We fear that he read the title of the bill without reading its text. No one wants discrimination, particularly against vulnerable students. That’s not what SB 263 is about, unfortunately. It opens school districts and taxpayers to lawsuits that could be impossible to defend and civil penalties that could be impossible to avoid, given the fact that the bill does not define what constitutes discrimination on the basis of gender identity. 


How will SB 263 affect a teacher who uses the “wrong” pronoun to a student who “identifies as transgender”? How will SB 263 affect student athletics? SB 263 sows chaos, not protection. Our children and educational institutions deserve better.
To read more about this bill, click here. 

HB 480, sports betting: Signed

Governor Sununu signed HB 480, a sports betting bill. Large-scale expanded gambling is bad for New Hampshire families, even when it’s signed into law by a well-intentioned Governor. Government-sponsored gambling driven by corporate interests is not something upon which our state budget should rely. The profitability of large-scale gambling is reliant on addictive behaviors. It’s a mistake to encourage and exploit that behavior.
To read more about this bill, click here. 

HB 608, regarding “gender identity” in N.H. law

At the time of our deadline for this email, the Governor has not acted on HB 608. Watch Cornerstone Action’s Facebook page for updates. You still have a chance to call the Governor and make your voice heard! 
To read more about this bill, click here.