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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills

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Wednesday, May 29, 2024   

The New Hampshire Senate has advanced a series of bills, which opponents say will roll back protections for LGBTQ+ people.

The measures ban transgender girls from playing sports in middle and high school, ban transgender people from using bathrooms aligning with their gender and ban gender-affirming surgeries for patients under 18.

Sarah Robinson, education justice campaign director for Granite State Progress, called the bills discriminatory and cruel.

"LGBTQ+ people and those that know and love them are urging a swift veto to these mean-spirited bills that are based in misinformation," Robinson emphasized. "When we say 'live free or die' we mean everyone."

Supporters said the bills are needed to ensure safety and fairness in both sports and public spaces and protect young people from making decisions they may regret. Gov. Chris Sununu has said he shares the concerns but has not indicated whether he will sign the bills.

Another measure aims to limit educators' ability to discuss issues related to gender identity or sexual orientation with their students and would require teachers give parents two weeks notice regarding any related curriculum.

Deb Howes, president of the American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire, said labeling the subjects as "objectionable material" hurts students and diminishes public education.

"That is to the determinant of all of our Granite State students and all of our Granite State communities," Howes contended. "Because if we have less educated students, that is bad for our future."

Howes added the bills also make it harder to retain and recruit teachers at a time when fewer people are entering the profession. Others say permitting discrimination against transgender people will hurt the state's economy.

More than 200 businesses recently signed on to a letter to Gov. Sununu warning him bills targeting transgender youth are tarnishing the state's reputation.

Disclosure: Granite State Progress Education Fund & Granite State Progress contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Gun Violence Prevention, Health Issues, Women's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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