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Updated: Dec 17, 2020

December 2, 2020 –Today, the House of Representatives met at UNH for Organization Day as required by the New Hampshire Constitution. While this day is historically a day to only swear in newly elected members and elect the Speaker, Secretary of State, Sergeant at Arms and State Treasurer, House Republicans broke with precedent by ramming through changes to House Rules. After these surprise and inappropriate maneuvers, Representative Lucy Weber (D-Walpole) released the following statement:

“House Republicans took advantage of the low attendance at today’s proceedings to ram through rules changes; removing the sexual harassment prevention training from House Rules and giving us a glimpse of their priorities moving forward. Members who did not show up today did because of legitimate concerns about getting sick and bringing the virus back to their communities that have been exacerbated by the dozens of House Republicans who refuse to wear masks today. The newly elected Speaker chose not to enforce his own ruling that unmasked members sit in a separate section. Violating the normal order of Organization Day by taking advantage of a low attendance in the midst of a massive spike in COVID-19 cases here in New Hampshire is truly not the way to start a new term in a cooperative and bipartisan manner.”

“To be clear, this was the very first action taken by the new House Republican Majority. Organization Day has never been used to tamper with House Rules, but apparently House Republicans were so excited to remove the sexual harassment prevention training they just couldn’t be bothered to wait a few weeks for the appropriate time. Removing this training is an affront to the House as an institution, the staff, lobbyists, the public, and to all survivors of sexual abuse and harassment across this state.”

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