AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2022-15

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April 23, 2022 ~ Bow, NH

The first bit of good news this week—is April break! We hope you all get to spend this week off relaxing and recharging for the last two months of school.  We can continue with some good news from the legislature this week—HB 1393 a convoluted bill that would have imposed school district budget caps that would have only been allowed to be adjusted to inflation, was voted ITL out of committee 4-1. The bill still has to clear the full Senate, but an ITL motion means it is closer than ever to being defeated.  If you haven’t contacted your state senator yet, please take a quick action to let your senator know you oppose this bill.

HB 1431- so called parental rights bill.  We wish all the news was that good, however the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass HB 1431 out of committee this week. The stated aim of House Bill 1431 is praiseworthy, but as classroom professionals, we can testify that the implementation will be problematic. The biggest concern is that HB 1431 will prevent teachers and school staff from creating safe learning environments where all students are welcome and can thrive.  HB 1431 contains parental rights provisions so sweeping that it will do the exact opposite of what anyone who cares about kids actually wants: it will drive a needless wedge between parents and educators—and ultimately make it harder for teachers to teach, and create safe, welcoming, inclusive school environments where every kid can succeed. As it’s currently written, this bill will create burdensome obligations for schools and districts, drowning educators and administrators in paperwork and approval processes that take time away from working directly with kids. It will also trap teachers and school staff in a no-win situation of trying to meet to the demands of individual parents, pitting parents against one another and basically guaranteeing that some students’ needs be prioritized over others and make taxpayers responsible for any possible litigation – which is likely, given the divisive and exclusionary nature of the bill. Additionally, we saw heartbreaking testimony from child advocates who said that bill could endanger children and set back the state as it tries to institute reforms that would protect children especially those that are most vulnerable.

Take Action on HB 1431  We still have time to make our voices heard on this important bill. Make sure you call or email your state senator and ask them to oppose HB 1431. You can find the information for your senator at the following link.  Find your State Senator.

The House will meet again on the 4th and then the 5th and the Senate will meet this Thursday the 28th and then again on the 5th and then all that is left of session will be the Committee of Conferences. This has been a long session for all of us and we thank your continued support.

Enjoy the April break! You have earned it.

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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.

For breaking news and other legislative information, please be sure to like us on Facebook at AFT New Hampshire or follow us on Twitter @AFTNewHampshire to receive the latest news.  Please share this with friends so they can sign up for this bulletin at http://nh.aft.org/.

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).