It was a busy day in the New Hampshire Senate, yesterday. Among the items addressed, senators approved S B 3 20, which requires school districts to notify parents and obtain their consent prior to administering non-academic surveys. Bill sponsor Senator Kevin Avard, Republican from Nashua, said quote:
“Parents have a right to decide what is appropriate for their child and should be able to protect their child from being asked to answer questions requiring personal information like religious practices, sexual orientation, and family life. These topics go beyond academics and therefore, should require explicit parental consent before being administered to students.”
The Senate tabled a bill that would have suspended the death penalty in the state. About that, Senator Andy Sanborn, Republican from Bedford, said quote:
“…New Hampshire has one of the most narrowly defined death penalty laws in the nation…This law should remain in place in order to protect our men and women in blue who put their lives on the line to defend New Hampshire citizens and it is worth upholding this penalty should a specific case warrant this type of punishment in the future.”
Senators voted down S B 5 16, which would have changed the violence prevention practices followed by health care facilities. Senator Jeanie Forrester, Republican from Meredith, criticized the bill saying, quote:
“We all agree that safety in the workplace is a top priority, however, this bill was an attempt by the Democrats to implement weaker violence prevention practices in health care facilities…This is another example of how they are committed to following the Governor’s playbook, just like when she tried to steal millions of dollars from nursing homes which care for our most vulnerable citizens…”
The senate killed a bill enabling municipalities to ban plastic shopping bags. After the vote, Senator Nancy Stiles, Republican from Hampton said she supports local control but called the bill unnecessary saying quote:
“…a ban or added cost for plastic bags in-store would only serve to boost need for other materials, including paper or cardboard, which may result in greater impacts on the environment as well as an increase in costs felt by local retailers and grocery stores.”
Finally from the senate, S B 4 68, which would give Tier III sex offenders the opportunity to petition the court and be removed from the sex offender list, passed. Currently, Tier III offenders are required by law to be on the list for life. Addressing the action, Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, Republican from Wolfeboro, said quote:
“We believe that strong punishment is befitting for sex offenders because of the egregious nature of sex crimes. This bill allows Tier III sex offenders who have not committed Class A misdemeanors, sexual offenses or offenses against a child since the original conviction and who have successfully completed a court-ordered sex offender treatment program to petition the court for their removal from the sex offender registry.”
News from our own backyard continues after this:
Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas released a timeline of attempts by city staff to meet with Superintendent of Schools Debra Livingston to review data needed to construct a redistricting plan. At Monday’s special meeting of the Board of School Committee, Gatsas said he was unable to provide the plan he promised because Livingston had failed to meet with the people he’d tasked with adjusting the boundaries. In the letter, Information Systems Director Jenny Angell chronicled multiple attempts to meet with Livingston who either canceled or delayed arranging meetings. According to Board Clerk Maura Lahey, the mayor provided her with copies of the information in time for Monday’s meeting, but she didn’t distribute it because she said there were an insufficient number of copies. We’ve uploaded it with this news read at Girard at Large dot com.
The Londonderry Police Department released an update on a little pooch named Stevie, a severely neglected dog found in an abandoned property on Rockingham Road. The dog is in the loving care of his foster family and is recovering slowly. Stevie was found about a month ago abandoned and suffering from blindness, deafness, severe matting, digestive issues, fleas and sores on his body. He is loving, friendly, and likes to be held.
The department has been very active in Stevie’s recovery, having donated some money to help the dog and keeping the public informed about the situation because they have received inquiries about it internationally. Detective Christopher Olson said quote:
“Whenever there is a crime of this nature, usually crimes against children, animals, and elderly, they get the most emotion. It went viral. Before you know it, you’re getting messages from all around the world… I’ve gotten messages from Austria, Bulgaria, France, and Canada. Every single day on Facebook we get new messages on the dog.”
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.