RSVP to the Gubernatorial Candidate Q&A Tomorrow Night 7-8 pm! ([link removed])
Over the past 10 days some of the key legislation I sponsored has been signed into law: telehealth, broadband connectivity, education standards, and Holocaust and genocide studies education.
Education Omnibus Bill
Just in, the Governor signed HB 1558. As we approach the beginning of the school year it is clear that consistent guidance and defined funding mechanisms are of the utmost priority for our schools, students, parents, towns, and municipalities. HB 1558 is a bipartisan effort to provide just that. This legislation provides safety guidance, access to behavioral health resources and training programs, updated policies on discipline and suspension, brain injury recovery, sexual abuse prevention training, change of school assignment, reporting violence in schools and criminal history background checks of school bus drivers and attendants. It gives our districts greater flexibility to address fiscal concerns when budgets and revenues are uncertain, increases reserve limits, provides funding to districts transitioning to full-day kindergarten funding during this biennium, provides a seat for the university system on the department of business and economic affairs council of partner agencies, and
creates a clearer pathway for businesses to participate in economic revitalization zones and graduate retention incentive partnerships. I am proud of the bipartisan work done to craft this legislation and am happy to see it signed into law today.
As a Legislature, the expansion of broadband, and in turn expanded access to telehealth has been a bipartisan priority. Even as in-office visits resume, it is abundantly clear that telemedicine has been integral in providing timely and efficient access to diagnosis and treatment. As we look ahead towards the beginning of the school year, we must recognize the critical role telemedicine plays for providing medically necessary services to children in schools or, during remote learning, in their homes. HB1623 includes both voice and video consultations. It also establishes a study commission to establish evidence based telehealth practice for the future.
Monday August 3rd, the NH Telehealth Alliance has invited me to present on Telehealth in NH: the Now and The Future. Lucy Hodder and I will cover state-level policy. Click here to register for this event! ([link removed])
HB1111 adds a couple more tools for towns desperate for improved broadband connectivity, to afford and accelerate efforts, and to attract service providers. The legislation builds off the broadband bonding bill passed in 2018. One part allows towns to require from current providers information on served properties, so towns can define unserved households. The other part proposed by Sen. Dietsch allow towns to form broadband telecommunications district’s similar to water districts.
Sunday August 2, you can view me on Fred Kocher’s WMUR morning show, NH Business talking about broadband development and opportunities in NH.
Holocaust and Genocide Studies Education
HB1135 includes the addition of Holocaust and genocide studies to school curricula; NH becomes the 14th state to pass legislation such legislation. Only through a well rounded education can we begin to work towards a future free of prejudice, bigotry, antisemitism, and national, ethnic, racial, and religious hatred and discrimination. Holocaust and genocide education is a fitting part of a school’s curriculum that enables student to participate in the democratic process and to make informed choices as responsible citizens. School districts will have the flexibility of implementing this with the talent and resources within their schools and available without cost.
Of the 33 bills sent to the Governor's desk, he has vetoed bills on energy, protection of renters from eviction, family medical leave, and minimum wage. And yesterday, his veto of the administrative change bills, HB1234, affected two Kahn bills. One from the Department of Education for a rule change to implement Career Readiness programs, and the other from the Attorney General on an appeal process for the Victim Assistance Fund. There were 40 sections to that bill, so a lot of reintroducing in the next legislature’s session.
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