In today's edition of State House Watch, Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke of the NH American Friends' Service Committee and their guests Zandra Rice-Hawkins and Leah Cohen of Granite State Progress, and Christina D’Allesandro of Moms Rising share a lively discussion anticipating the final month of the current NH Legislative calendar. They also take a look at bills on the national stage: The American Rescue Plan, the American Jobs Plan, the American Family Plan.
Some of the topics they cover are related to the disproportionate impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on women and people of color, with respect to health care, housing, transportation, and more. Some of the topics out of Washington D.C. are the child tax credit, support for child care centers, and paid family-medical leave.
Regarding the NH state budget, they express concerns that federal dollars are not meant to be spent to cut state taxes; that state funds not be siphoned off to support private schools; that there is no place in NH for the language of HB544, cancelling the First Amendment, or HB625, hollowing out Roe v. Wade. They call our attention to The Grassroots Campaign for A People's Budget. The NH House and Senate meet to complete work on bills starting on June 3, and to take final votes on June 24. The governor must act on the budget prior to the new fiscal year on July 1. Our legislators, senators, and governor need to hear from us.
This week's songs are:
Somebody's Hurting My Brother by Yara Allen
Peace, Salaam, Shalom by Emma's Revolution,
and Rise as One by Aaron Fowler
The music we open with each week is Can't Shake These Blues by Chris Smither and this year we have been closing with Rev. Gary Davis's There's A Bright Side Somewhere
This week on State House Watch, Maggie Fogarty and Grace Kindeke of the American Friends’ Service Committee New Hampshire program interview three prominent New Hampshire activists.
Gilles Bissonette of the American Civil Liberties Union on discrimination via religion, and civil and legal rights for mental patients who may be held in emergency rooms without due process.
Zandra Rice Hawkins of Gunsense NH on laws and rules around public safety and firearms.
Steven Kidder of Change For Concord on School Resource Officers and on housing rights and the ability to openly discuss race and other challenging topics.
Some of the legislative references this week are:
HB542, allowing businesses and organizations to discriminate against specific classes of citizens
HB544, to limit the right to free speech
SB154, to block federal rules re:firearms, and jeopardize federal grants
HB195, HB196 allows brandishing, displaying a firearm in multiple situations
HB197, stand your ground
HB334, armed off road vehicles
the gun line (state background checks)
HB307 firearms control per-emption,
This week's State House Watch is hosted by Jennifer Dube and her colleagues with 350NH. Environmental epidemiologist Mindy Messmer introduces us to the Safe Water Alliance. She talks about the health impacts of contaminants in our water sources. Bob Feder discusses the complications on mental health he is seeing in his patients due to the adjustments we've had to make during the Covid-19 pandemic. Jon Swan catches us up on the status of the Forest Lake landfill and the state park protection bill, HB177.
Today Maggie Fogarty of The American Friends' Service Committee's New Hampshire program welcomes her guest co-host long time labor activist Rev. Dr. Gail Kinney. Together they interview labor scholar Dr. Marc Dixon of Dartmouth College on the so-called right-to-work bill, and then they talk with Kathy Staub and Viola Katusiime of Raise Up New Hampshire and the Granite State Organizing Project, on the pressures on New Hampshire's low wage workers.
Some of the topics of the show are:
HB1, HB2, budget bills; hiding the intent of HB544 'divisive concepts' prohibited speech inside HB2; The "NH People's Budget"
SB61 right to work
Marc Dixon ... the history of "right to work" as a state based effort from the 1940's onward ... and the "fair share clause" in labor contracts
Minimum wage campaign, SB137 changes how tipped minimum is calculated
The music breaks during the show are:
Which side are you on? - Natalie Merchant
Please Tip Your Waitress - Willie Sordill