Legislative Update Week of March 18th, 2024

Thursday, March 21st, N.H. House SESSION


It’s BACK! This bill has done a ring around the rosey. It requires that an hourly fee be charged for right to know requests that take over 10 hours to complete.

First the bill was “ought to pass” out of committee and passed on the floor. Then, it was reconsidered and sent back to the committee. Now, the committee recommendation is “interim study,” which is a “soft kill.” It means the subject will be studied and no policy will be implemented.

Contact your representative and tell them to support the interim study motion and oppose OTP on HB1002. 
Find your representative HERE.

Thursday, March 21st, N.H. Senate SESSION


Unfortunately, this bad bill is OTPA on the consent calendar. RebuildNH will work to have it pulled off the consent calendar. 

This is the troubling part of this bill. 

I-a.  The welfare of the child is the primary factor to be weighed when determining if a parent is fit to parent that child.  In determining whether a parent is fit to perform his or her parental duties, the court may consider the following factors, in addition to any other relevant evidence presented:

(a)  The unique needs of the child, and whether or not the parent is adequately prepared to address those needs;

(b)  The parent’s existing and historical relationship with that child;

(c)  The parent’s untreated mental health or substance use issues;

(d)  The parent’s provision of care to other children in their household, including addressing education needs, medical care, and mental and behavioral health care;

(e)  The condition of the parent’s home;

(f)  Any prior allegations of child abuse or neglect; and

(g)  The results of the department’s evidence-based safety assessment of that parent, their home, and any other adults in the home.  A parent’s failure to cooperate with the department’s assessment, or to provide any records necessary to such a determination, shall be weighed against the fitness of that parent.

Section (a) is incredibly subjective. What constitutes an “unique need” and how does one determine is those ill defined needs can be met?

Section (g) says that failure to cooperate is the basis for the removal of parental rights. Let’s give an example: currently, if Child Protective Services comes to your door, asking to inspect your home and interview your family, you can tell them to leave and come back when they have a warrant. Under this proposed language, this would constitute a reason for your child to be removed from your care. 

Email your senator and tell them to oppose SB417.

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