AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin
February 27, 2022 ~ Bow, NH
We will start with the biggest news from the legislature this week; the next time the New Hampshire House of Representatives meets it will be back in Representatives Hall. Up until now the House had been meeting in other venues due to safety concerns. But now, even though many in the House are older or immunocompromised, the Speaker has decided safety is no longer a top concern. The timing strikes us as more than just a little coincidental. Last week Republicans in the House lost a few close and key votes and won other votes after the Speaker had to break the tie. Now in what appears to be a pretty obvious attempt to keep Democrats home who would still rather not sit within coughing distance (and sometimes closer than that) of other people who won’t be wearing masks and may not be vaccinated.
We understand this is a difficult choice for many members of the House of Representatives. We
also recognize that many AFT members have been putting themselves in situations that were not ideal so they could do their jobs for much of the pandemic. Many schools were mask optional as delta and omicron surged this year and police often end up in situations where masks may not be worn. AFT-NH members showed up every day to do their jobs for their communities. All we can hope and ask is that our allies take every precaution they can and as long as they are medically able—they show up on session day to help keep the most extreme bills from becoming law.
The House Education Committee this week held Executive Session on many bills. We saw some predictably bad votes—Republicans on the Education Committee refused to protect children by assuring those who teach through the new voucher program have a criminal background check. There also were some good votes including a motion to defeat HB 1016 which would have required teachers provide two weeks’ notice of course curriculum materials amongst other things. We are definitely in the home stretch for the House Education committee but they still have 25 bills left to vote on and they will attempt to hold all of those votes on the 7th. Two bills that remain on our radar as priority bills to watch and have not yet had a vote are HB 1255 which is the teacher loyalty bill and HB 1671 which is the bill that would gut our education system by eliminating all core subjects except for English, Math, Science and History. Please continue to contact the committee to oppose those bills.
Action Request The House Education Committee will be acting on this bill, so we would ask you to email the house Education Committee at House Education Committee members and ask them to defeat HB 1671 and maintain the core academic domains as part of a robust public education.
.Next week, like many of you, the House Education Committee will be on vacation and like many of you, we are thankful for the break. For those starting their break this week, we hope you have a wonderful time and enjoy the break—you have earned it. For those returning from break, we hope you found some time to relax and recharge.
.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).