CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Family Medical Le...

The NH House of Representatives voted this week to pass the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, HB 628.

The program will help NH workers fulfill both their work and family responsibilities and is "a win for all citizens in New Hampshire, " according to House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff, (D-Penacook).

“The legislation creates an insurance program funded through employee contributions of .5%, approximately $5.00 per week per employee. Employers would not be required to contribute to the program. Included in the legislation is an opt-out option for those workers who do not wish to participate.”

“One of our goals as New Hampshire legislators should be to attract and retain young families to New Hampshire. HB 628 is one method of making NH family friendly.”

HB 628 now heads to the House Commerce Committee.

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Financial Literac...

The House of Representatives voted to pass HB 609, establishing and funding a New Hampshire children’s savings account program, which would be available to students who complete a financial literacy program. The bill will be reviewed by the House Finance Committee next.

Representative Mary Stuart Gile (D-Concord) said
“The overriding goal of this bill is to create a culture of savings and investment, which is critical to breaking the cycle of poverty that exists in many of our communities. This legislation has the potential to be a game changer, because it will offer every New Hampshire high school graduate the opportunity to pursue a postsecondary program of their choice. I thank the House for their strong support today.”

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

NH House Votes To...

I was proud to cast a vote today in support of retaining the Children and Family Law Committee, which addresses the rights, obligations and application of criminal laws to minors, divorce, child custody and support, the Child Protection Act and the Children In Need Of Services program.

House leadership had proposed eliminating the committee and House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff released the following statement after the vote. “House Democrats today showed their capacity to influence the body on changes to House Rules. I am most proud of our caucus for their outspoken dedication to the protection of children. The concise, passionate presentations on the House floor in favor of retaining the Children and Family Law Committee led to 35 Republican members joining House Democrats in the vote to keep the committee in place.”

“Moving the complex and important duties of the Children and Family Law Committee to three other overburdened committees would have shortchanged the vulnerable children of our state. I am very happy that the majority of House members opposed the proposal.”

“I am in full support of Speaker Jasper’s announcement that he will be naming a special committee to address the independent review of the Quality Assurance of the Division of Children, Youth and Families. Due to the urgency of the concerns outlined in the independent review, it is my hope that this committee is named quickly with qualified members appointed to fix these important concerns.”