The Bulletin Board

New meeting scheduled to resume negotiations over parental rights bill

By: - May 18, 2022 2:05 pm
State House with historical marker

The committee of conference for the bill will reconvene on Thursday at 9 a.m. (Dana Wormald | New Hampshire Bulletin)

House and Senate lawmakers will continue to negotiate a controversial “parental rights” bill, despite an impasse Tuesday that had appeared final.

The Legislature announced Wednesday that the committee of conference for the bill will reconvene on Thursday at 9 a.m. That committee had met Tuesday but ended with Senate and House negotiators unable to find a compromise between Senate and House versions of the bill.

Among other requirements, the bill would require schools to notify parents about any classes, clubs, or sports teams they joined, any instances where their child sought counseling or medical service, and any times that their child had sought help or support regarding their gender identity.

That version of the bill, which was passed by the Senate, has been opposed by LGBTQ+ rights groups, teachers unions, and the state Attorney General’s Office, who have raised concerns that the law would require schools to “out” trans students to their parents. 

House Republican negotiators also opposed the Senate version, citing similar points, and advocated for their original version of the bill, which established parental rights but did not include a notification requirement. 

Despite both sides walking away without a resolution Tuesday, the newly scheduled negotiation meeting opens the possibility for the two sides to still find compromise. Committee of conference negotiators have until 4 p.m. Thursday to submit final reports. The Senate president and House speaker may swap out representatives for each respective chamber in order to achieve a compromise. 

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Ethan DeWitt
Ethan DeWitt

Ethan DeWitt is the New Hampshire Bulletin’s education reporter. Previously, he worked as the New Hampshire State House reporter for the Concord Monitor, covering the state, the Legislature, and the New Hampshire presidential primary. A Westmoreland native, Ethan started his career as the politics and health care reporter at the Keene Sentinel.