The New Hampshire Senate tabled H B 1 2 3 1, which would have required school districts to provide parental notice in advance of lessons involving drug and alcohol education, human sexuality or human sexual education. The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Victoria Sullivan, Republican from Manchester’s Ward Nine, would also have provided parents with the ability to opt their children out of lessons they found objectionable.
Following the vote, Senator Kevin Avard, Republican from Nashua, released a statement saying he was disappointed because the bill would have solidified a parent’s right to know what’s going on in their child’s classrooms and provided the opportunity to decide whether or not it was appropriate for them. Avard said parents are the gate keepers for their kids and that providing advanced notice of objectionable material provides them with the opportunity to discuss the topics at home with their kids and encourages them to be involved in their child’s life.
The Senate passed S B 5 0 9, which changes the procedure for investigating new voters who refuse to provide proof of residence when they register to vote. Bill co-sponsor Senator Regina Birdsell, Republican from Hampstead, praised passage saying the bill would play an important role in protecting actual residents’ voting rights. She said the bill allowed the Secretary of State’s Office take on a new voter registration verification process, leaving the Attorney General to focus exclusively on investigating voter fraud and enforcing voter laws. (Good luck with that!) Birdsell said the bill also streamlined the process of verifying same day voter registrants and urged Governor Margaret Wood Hassan to sign the bill into law.
The Senate also shot down H B 1 6 3 1, which would have decriminalized half an ounce of marijuana in the state. After the vote, Senator Jeanie Forrester, Republican from Meredith, said the senate was sending a strong message about preventing substance abuse. Said Forrester quote:
“We are in the middle of a heroin epidemic and one of the most serious public health crises this state has ever faced…It would be irresponsible to approve a bill that does the exact opposite of curbing the substance abuse problem…by weakening the penalties for possession of an illegal substance.”
The senate passed H B 1 6 2 8, which makes makes it a felony for a person to pay to engage in sexual contact with a person under the age of 18. Senator Sharon Carson, Republican from Londonderry, issued a statement applauding passage saying the bill closed a gap in the state’s ability to prosecute human trafficking by establishing felony convictions for individuals who pay for sexual activities with underage persons. Said Carson, quote:
“Human trafficking has firmly planted roots right here in New Hampshire, and testimony shared with the committee explained that one of the first cases of sex trafficking to be charged federally came out of Litchfield.”
Carson said the issue is prevalent in the state and that strengthening the ability to prosecute would-be offenders was a needed step toward eliminating the horrific reality of human trafficking in N H.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Was our state’s attorney general listening to our adorable commentary on the conspiring of attorneys general across the country against Exxon, yesterday? We can’t say for sure, but since Attorney General Joseph Foster released a statement after yesterday’s show regarding his involvement, it makes one wonder. In his statement, Foster said climate change poses a threat to New Hampshire’s way of life, economy and environment and that starting last fall his office became aware of allegations that ExxonMobil concealed information related to the impacts of fossil fuels on climate change. Since that time, Foster said that while they were focused on bringing another case against ExxonMobil related to groundwater contamination to fruition, they, nevertheless, participated in every relevant lawsuit related to climate change and began discussions with those close to these new allegations. Foster said the process is continuing and his office has been coordinating with A Gs throughout the nation who are examining climate change issues.
As you may have heard, Kinder Morgan has indefinitely suspended its Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline project that would cut through the state’s Southern Tier. Apparently, the company failed to generate interest among gas suppliers which, in addition to the opposition it encountered opposition from those along the proposed route, doomed the project.
Both of New Hampshire’s congressmen issued statements regarding the project’s death. Second District Congressman Ann McLane Kuster, Democrat from Hopkinton, referencing her strong strong leadership in opposition to the project from the beginning, hailed the project’s death. Her counterpart in the First District, Congressman Frank Guinta, Republican from Manchester, said he’d pushed Kinder Morgan officials at the highest levels to answer resident’s questions and concerns. About the announcement Guinta said quote:
“Thanks to the concerted efforts of local citizens and New Hampshire’s delegation, we have a resolution that will please property owners and all those who support transparent, open government…(I) am glad this issue reached a conclusion satisfactory to a large majority of my constituents.”
That’s news from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next.
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