Senate Republicans Refuse to Fix Flawed Gag Rule Policy

Contact Name: Marina Altschiller

Phone: (603) 271-3375

Email: marina.altschiller@leg.state.nh.us

CONCORD – Today, Senate Republicans voted Inexpedient to Legislate on two bills seeking to address the Republican-passed gag rule on free speech.


SB 298, prime sponsored by Senator David Watters (D-Dover) would have repealed the law relative to certain discrimination in public workplaces and education. SB 304, prime sponsored by Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene) would have repealed the Republican banned concepts statute inserted into the last state budget and clarified the authority of public schools and public employers to engage in instruction concerning the historical or current experiences of any group that is protected from discrimination under our state laws.


After the vote, prime sponsors Senator David Watters (D-Dover) and Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene) issued the following statements:


Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene) stated, “The Senate Judiciary Committee heard hours of testimony and received input from hundreds of constituents from all over the state about how problematic the Republican gag rule has been for the people of New Hampshire. We heard from educators, employers, and human resources professionals about the chilling effect this poorly written prohibition has had on their ability to effectively educate children and employees.


By banning discussion about issues that make us uncomfortable, we only serve to silence and suppress the lived experiences of Granite Staters. Our constituents overwhelmingly asked us to fix this problematic law, and I’m disappointed we weren’t able to deliver for them today.” Senator David Watters (D-Dover) added, “Regardless of how you feel about the Republican gag rule, one thing has become abundantly clear: the law is unworkable and is causing fear and confusion for Granite Staters. We owe it to the people we represent to be responsive to their concerns, and by refusing to fix problematic policy, my Republican colleagues have chosen their anti-free speech agenda over the people they represent.”


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