AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, (2022-019)

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Action Alert on HB 1431

May 20, 2022 ~ Bow, NH

Despite the objections of a high-ranking member of their own party, House Republican leadership pushed the Parental Bill of Rights, which clearly is NH’s “Don’t Say Gay at School” through the Committee of Conference. HB 1431, would force teachers and school staff to disclose to parents any information that students share at school about their gender identity, if they join an inclusive club or even if they ask to be called by a different name or pronoun. If HB1431 becomes law, it will endanger the mental health, safety and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ youth in NH. We must continue to speak out against this bill to try and stop it. The full NH House and Senate must vote May 26th on whether to accept the Committee of Conference result.

Action Request.  We need your lawmakers to hear from you to reject the report and defeat the bill. Use the action link below from our allies at NH ACLU to reach out to your legislators today!

Stop HB 1341

For a full recap of this week’s legislative action in Concord, including all the drama and plot twists of HB 1431 Committee of Conference, read on.   

Phew. What a week. A legislative session can often feel like a roller coaster with all of the up and downs. This week we packed in a session’s worth of ups and downs in a 72-hour period. Let’s recap.  

First, we can start with the easy parts. The expansion of the education tax credit voucher was removed during committee of conference which is a win for our tax dollars and the House and Senate couldn’t come to an agreement on the making the child risk assessment survey an “opt-in” survey and so it will remain opt-out as it always has. We know from professionals in education and substance abuse prevention that this survey is very important for schools and the more students who participate, the better. And then there was HB 1431—the so-called Parental Bill of Rights.

Tuesday morning the House and Senate met to discuss the bill. Representative Kim Rice and Senator Becky Whitley focused on the harms the bill could cause all kids, but especially LBGTQ+ students and the LBGTQ community. They would not budge on their opinion that this bill could not move forward and walked away from the negotiating table and with that we thought (as did numerous media organizations who reported on it) that the bill was dead. And it was, right until it wasn’t. The next day it was announced they were going back to the negotiating table to try again to pass this awful bill. We should highlight here how strange this is. It is very rare, if not almost unheard of, for this to happen. Usually once the two bodies walk away from the negotiating table, they don’t come back. On Thursday morning, the House replaced the members who resisted the bill with the Speaker and Majority leader and came to an agreement on HB 1431.The hearing itself was disgusting.! The complete disregard for LGBTQ youth from House and Senate Leadership (Chuck Morse was also in the room) was on full display. The language they used about LGBTQ+ people was hurtful and damaging and we should expect more from the House and Senate particularly their leadership. AFT-NH affirms that our schools and classrooms are places where LGBTQ+ students belong and should be able to feel safe and welcome, which is why we are opposing this law.

Soon after the hearing was done the governor announced he would veto this harmful bill if it made it to his desk. We are glad the governor recognizes the harm this bill will do but make no mistake we do not want the legislature to be on record for supporting such awful legislation.

That is why even in the face of a veto threat we ask you to contact your representatives and senators and tell them to vote against HB1431 when it comes to them on the 26th.

Taking action now by clicking the following link, STOP HB 1431.

Thanks for all that you do!

 

 

 

Please continue to check our website at  http://nh.aft.org/ for updates on how we can protect public education, public services, the NH Retirement System, and advance initiatives as we work to continually improve it.

 

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You can also read written testimony submitted to the legislature at STATE HOUSE NEWS.

 

NH Retirement Security Coalition The NHRSC will be tracking all bills related to the NH Retirement System and continuing advocacy for our members.  You can find the legislation tracker following retirement bills by clicking on the following link  NHRSC UPDATES.  AFT-NH is a member of the NH Retirement Security Coalition (NHRSC).